A weekend away from the stress

Hello everyone!

Once again, I apologise for being so absent from my blog but the last few days have been pretty hectic and I didn’t have time to post. I had an exam today, which didn’t go that well to be honest, and I’m just taking the rest of the day off to have some well deserved rest.

Anyway, last weekend, I went away with some of my family and I had a really good time. My aunt is single an doesn’t have children so she has always treated me, my brother and my two cousins almost like we’re her children. She’s really close to all of us so she told us she wanted to pay for a weekend away, only the five of us and my cousins girlfriends. We booked everything a few months ago and it was finally time.

We were staying at ‘Quinta da Terrincha‘, a 300-hectare farm property located on the upper Douro region, near Torre de Moncorvo. This region has its name because of the Douro river and this region is known for the cultivation of grapes, used to make the famous Port Wine and just wine in general, and also the cultivation of olives and other things. I didn’t know much of this region of Portugal so I was quite excited to go spend a weekend there, even though our plans were to spend the whole time inside the farm.

My brother and I left our house at around 12p.m. on Friday because my aunt was talking us out for lunch and her town is like one hour away. After lunch, we put everything in her car and at like 4p.m. we left. It took us two or two and a half hours to get there and then we couldn’t find the place but we eventually did. The car journey way really nice because one hour into it the freeway goes between the mountains and valleys of the region and there’s a point where you start seeing the grape vine terraces everywhere.

1I found everything really beautiful and then my aunt just kept telling my brother and I stories of when she was younger and used to go to the towns we were passing but it would take her so much time because the highways were all really bad. I was really excited to actually arrive at the property where we were staying and when we did, I felt in love with it immediately!

At first we didn’t think we were in the right place because there was this huge gate and everything looked way too fancy for what we were expecting, but then we saw the name and realised we were actually in the right place. We went inside and parked the car and the staff was extremely nice to us! Then the lady that welcomed us took us to the three-bedroom house we would be staying at and we couldn’t believe our eyes. The house was beautiful on the inside and it had this fancy touch. The rooms were all beautiful and the one the three of us were staying at was huge!

2As we waited for my cousins and their girlfriends to arrive (they were coming later than us because of work), we decided to go have a quick look around and once again, it just made me love the whole thing even more.

We were a bit bummed that the weather wasn’t that nice, even though it was better than we had expected. It was around 23/24ºC, which wasn’t as hot as it had been the week before but it was ok, I guess. Everything was really peaceful and you could really feel the nature and everything around you.

Eventually the rest of my family arrived and they all loved everything too. At night we ended up going to the bar and stayed there talking to each other and having a laugh. It was good to be like that with my family and it was nice to be away from my parents for a while. My cousin had the idea of asking a member of the staff what were the opening and closing hours of the swimming pool and the reply we got was that we could use it as we pleased and that’s why they kept it illuminated at night. We went back to the house and my cousin decided he wanted to go in the pool but the rest of us didn’t want to. He went anyway and his girlfriend ended up going with him. After a while, he came back and tried to convince us to go and he manage to convince me and my brother. My aunt, my older cousin and his girlfriend ended up coming along to hang out with us even though they didn’t go in. That’s how I ended up scratching the first thing off of my summer bucket list. I have to admit that, even though at first the water seemed cold (and it probably was), after swimming for a while, it was the best thing. It was peaceful and the lights made everything look beautiful! Something about swimming with the night sky above us made me feel really relaxed and happy and being there with my family, just made it better. After that we just when back to the house and decided to play Party&Co, women versus men.

On Saturday, we went to have breakfast at around 10 and then went around the property again, this time all of us. We saw more things than we had seen the day before and the weather was really nice to just walk around. Before lunch, we went to the pool again and once again it was really fun.

After lunch, we just decided to stay inside for a while, but then ended up going to hang out by the swimming pool again. This time I didn’t go in, because I didn’t feel like it and it was a bit too windy outside. Soon enough we went back inside because the wind got even worse and we could tell it was about to start raining and it wouldn’t be just a few raindrops.

At night, we went once again to the bar, but instead of going to the pool after, we went straight to the house and started playing games (Party&Co, UNO, etc…). On Sunday we had to do the check-out before twelve so we didn’t do much in the morning, just got everything sorted out. Soon it was time to leave and we were all quite sad the weekend was almost over.

Wanting to stay wouldn’t actually stop us from leaving and so we did, going to Torre De Moncorvo, where we were meeting for lunch some family friends we hadn’t seen in a while. We got there early so we had a look around town which was nice. It’s always nice to explore a bit of a place you don’t know.

5Lunch was lovely and the perfect way to end this amazing weekend! I had a really good time and it was great to just be away from everything for a couple of days, without thinking about the exams or anything. It was also the perfect way to start the summer (I know it isn’t technically summer yet).

I’ll leave you with this beautiful panoramic picture I took because I really like it!

Until next time,

Jo xx

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