“I am of the river”

Miranda2Way up in the north of Portugal there’s a region called Trás-os-Montes, which is known for several things: its rough and breathtaking landscape, the Mirandese language, the extreme weather (“nine months of winter and three months of hell”), the wonderful produce, men in skirts (I haven’t talked about that one, yet), the unique costumes (usually associated with Carnival, but also used at other times) and, last but not least, Miranda do Douro.

Miranda3Here, Portugal and Spain are separated only by the river Douro. All along the northern border there are other places where a river makes a natural frontier between the two countries but it seems to me that this is where the river acts more like a unifying force, rather than a dividing one. Maybe because of the harsh circumstances? Some of the areas which are now covered by water were once the spots where the poorest people would grow their food. Eventually they noticed that their produce was actually better: those high cliffs on both sides meant more condensation and, therefore, more humidity, in a place where it can get very dry in those “three months of hell”.

Miranda1We were on a boat cruise when we were there (highly recommend it!) and our guide said something which, to me, sums up very well the relationship between both sides of the river here. She was the daughter of a Portuguese father and a Spanish mother and said: “I don’t see myself as being neither Portuguese nor Spanish; I am of the river”.

Miranda4

Enjoy! 🙂

The website: http://www.beyondlisbon.pt/

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Categories: Nature, Places | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on ““I am of the river”

  1. Interesting post. Check our new travel blog at https://10tips.in. Cheers 👍

  2. albanlusitanae

    Awesome. Have been there only once, have to go back, I miss the region…

  3. Great story! 🙂

  4. Poetic statement ‘I am of the river’. Nice!

  5. I didn’t make it that far up the river (it was too late in the year) but I would love to do the cruise through into Spain. 🙂

  6. JRaposo

    Miranda Do Douro was for decades very isolated, the area is breathtakingly beautiful particularly along the Douro river gorge between Miranda and Aldeia Nova. In recent years the area has become more popular with tourists. Sao Joao das Arribas in Aldeia Nova, which happens to be my birth place offers the most spectacular view of the Douro River gorge, it’s well worth the trekk to see.

  7. What a stunning area and I love her description ‘I am of the river’

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