Back to the stone age in Piodao

16 Jul
Schist and slate everywhere

Schist and slate everywhere

Piódão is a quaint little village stuck to a mountain slope. The houses are all made of black schist stones (slate) which gives the village a dark but picturesque and coherent look except the white church in the middle of it (always the same that can get away with exceptions in urban planning…). I thought the village was simply wow and should be put on the Unesco World Heritage list, whereas my friends and my mum said: “but there’s nothing there”… Tastes differ.

  • Lots of pictures below

Getting lost in the mountains

Getting lost in the mountains

Piódão is glued onto a mountain slope, so you can nicely see the different houses stacked one above the other. It’s lost in the middle of the Portuguese mountains (the Serra do Açor to be more precise). And when I say lost, I mean lost. The middle of nowhere couldn’t be any closer.

Getting to Piódão was an adventure in itself. The roads curled through mountains, up and down the slopes, going up one side and down the other, leading us from dense forest to bald mountains. There were hardly any cars on the roads (understandable), but the curly wirly of the roads was already enough to trigger our driver to curse anything that crossed his mind: us for having this stupid idea to go to Piodao, Portugal for having stupid winding roads, the mountains for having too little vegetation, the forests because they blocked the views, etc. Add to this that the last kilometers before arriving there was a traffic diversion because of road works, sending us down a slippery dust road which got the car covered in dust. We had a black rental car, but after Piodao it was yellowish grey.

  • So I guess this also influenced my friends’ opinion about the cute schist stone village.
Finally arriving in the slate village

Finally arriving in the slate village

The houses in Piodao are completely made of schist stone/slate: obviously the most common raw material around in the mountains. The roofs are slate, the walls are schist, the streets are and the souvenirs, of course, as well. The fact that the houses are built on a slope, one above the other, with windy paths and staircases between them, makes for great pictures. So instead of terraced rice fields (in Philippines) Piodao is a terraced village. This makes the village quaint and special (also no cars inside the village).

But besides walking around and eating an ice cream, there’s nothing much to do. Hence my mum’s comment: “but there’s nothing there”. Not sure what she expected: a rollercoaster? a cinema? a terraced football field? a mega-mall?

  • Anyway – I loved it ;-)
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4 Responses to “Back to the stone age in Piodao”

  1. Ana 21 July 2009 at 02:47 #

    Dear Tony,
    You’ve discover one of my favorite places in Portugal… in the midle of nowhere.
    How is coming back to reality in Europe after Asia?

  2. Miriel 23 July 2009 at 12:50 #

    Piódão é de facto um lugar encantador! Fico contente por teres gostado!

    A viagem de regresso, correu bem?

    Espero que sim!

  3. travelony 25 July 2009 at 12:15 #

    Sim sim – ja estamos outra vez em Belgica – eu entre Bruselas e Arendonk. Agora tenho duas mouradas; o duplo de experiencias – hehe. Acho que estou a preferir estar sossegadinho ‘no campo’ em lugar de estar na cidade… Pode ser a edade… xxx

  4. travelony 25 July 2009 at 12:18 #

    Hey Ana, sorry we missed each other when i was in Singapore ;-) Back in Europe (or should I say Belgium in the mean time) is good too. It’s being back to ‘normality’ (what the hell is normal???), but if any time I would be in need of excitement or exerience, Asia is definitely the place to be! But for the moment I’m more looking for a bit of ‘non-excitement’ after all the moving around. Take care, beijinho. Tony

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