On the edge of the earth. Portugal. (English version)
Portugal is my old dream and I finally realize it. I’ve always wanted to go on the edge of the earth and touch the history of the once great maritime Power. Portugal is a country rich in history, the birthplace of the great navigators and geographical discoveries.
Most don’t know anything about Portugal. Unfortunately for many of Portugal is associated only with poverty, ruins and cold ocean. I always knew that Portugal is beautiful and it didn’t disappoint me. I’m delighted with Portugal, I’m in love with this country. It’s love at first sight and for years to come!
Lost on the edge of our continent, Portugal is not similar to any European country. A feeling that time has stopped in Portugal, and this is even more beautiful. We drove across Portugal from north to south. When we handed over to rent a car speedometer showed 1,100 kilometers traveled. Battered time, natural disasters and crisis, Portugal has maintained a much beauty and history.
Portuguese friendly, welcoming, leisurely and sociable. They are proud of their history and honor the traditions, preserving the past in the present.
So what should we fall in love with Portugal and why you need to go to travel to this country?
First of all — Lisbon. It’s the capital of Portugal. This is a real open-air museum. Lisbon is very distinctive city. Can i compare Lisbon with any other capital of the world or Europe? Probably not! Its little old trams, Alfama district and Bairro Alto, small cozy cafe, where sing fado, houses with azulejos tiles. All this distinctive of Lisbon! I’m not talking about the «Gingerbread» of the city, which is inherent in Italy or France, but about distinctive, which in Lisbon rife.
Battered time, natural disasters and crisis, Portugal has maintained a much beauty and history.
Lisbon is built so that by it you go up and down. To somehow ease the way citizens, in the past run trams, lifts and elevators that connect the different streets and whole areas of the city. They operate to this day, and are a symbol of Lisbon, a monument of culture and heritage of Portugal. There are three elevator Gloria, Bica and Lavra and the most famous lift in the center of Elevador de Santa Just a in Lisbon. There was a time when the city authorities wanted to remove all routes little old trams and replace them with new ones. But residents of the city came to the defense of trams and city authorities had to change his mind. To this day, the historic part of Lisbon can ride with the breeze on an old tram with wooden interior. The most famous tram of Lisbon — №28, its route passes through all the historic sites and attractions. In all the souvenir shops you can find hundreds of postcards with views of the tram on the streets.
Walking through the streets of Lisbon and other cities in Portugal you pay attention to the beautiful facades. Facades of buildings with tiled azulejos. Perhaps the favorite activity of tourists — examine and photograph azulejos on buildings.
Portugal is really the edge of the Earth. Here is the extreme western point of the continent — Cape Roca (Cabo da Roca). When you stand on the edge of the cape, and ahead of only the power of the ocean, emotions overwhelm you. The land here is over and just in front of the Atlantic. Cabo da Roca is active lighthouse, and in the tourist center offers a certificate signed and stamped by the municipality that you officially visited on the very edge of the Earth.
Cabo da Roca is the most famous lighthouse in Portugal, but not the only one. You can read in google or search on maps others lighthouse and if you have rent’s car you can ride to this. How did we. This lighthouse is located in the town of Peniche and is considered the second most western point of the continent. Here such an atmosphere, something extraordinary. Of course photos can not be conveyed, but it’s a real end of the Earth.
When you stand on the edge of the cape, and ahead of only the power of the ocean, emotions overwhelm you. The land here is over and just in front of the Atlantic.
Three hundred kilometers to the north of Portugal and you are in the most romantic city in Europe, Porto. For this city you should go to Portugal. Many compare it to the old man, trying to nothing concede Lisbon. It’s true, it’s an old, threadbare in places and this is even more beautiful city! The city smells of old age, history and port wine!
Portugal stretches along the Atlantic, why there are so many small marine towns. They are so beautiful, with blue and white houses with tiled roofs. Most of these towns are located on a cliff so high that the gulls fly over your head. In these towns, their way of life, a very friendly Portuguese and delicious fresh seafood in the early morning fisherman grandfather.
We lived in one of these towns in Ericeira, 50 kilometers from Lisbon. I can safely say that Ericeira is one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal. Early in the morning mist envelops the entire city, going to the ocean. We did not immediately got used to it, but it has its own mystery. By midday haze dissipated and there is burning the Portuguese sun.
I used to get up early, and the first thing was to look at the ocean, and then ran to the local pashtelariyu. And so nice when you wish good morning in Portuguese, holding the fastened beautiful box full of Portuguese sweets, and you say in response «Obrigado!» (Thank you in Portuguese). And now it seems you’re part of this town. In the evenings you can long walks through the narrow streets of the town, watching the local go out of their houses and gather in the central square, fun talking and laughing, many of them with dogs. In the town there are a lot of benches are all located along the waterfront, so that you can enjoy the sunset. This town has remained in our hearts and we are already planning to come back with husband.
Is there a beach holiday in Portugal? Of course, it’s the ocean, though the cool Atlantic. Beaches in Portugal are awesome and for every taste. In the north of Portugal endless beaches, snow-white, with sand dunes. At any resort in the Mediterranean, you will not see this. All beaches with excellent infrastructure cafe, sanitary facilities and recreation areas.
In comparison with the north of Portugal in the south is much hotter. In the south is a region of the Algarve, it is considered a resort area. No wonder it is called Hot Algarve. But in spite of the hot and dry air, water in the Atlantic is as cool as in the north, but you can swim. Water perfectly refreshing. In the south, travelers many times more. Therefore, we still preferring the north of Portugal. And of course I fell in love with the Atlantic. Ocean — this element!
If you go holiday in Portugal, bring your closed swimsuit. Waves of the Atlantic Ocean a bikini is not simple.
Coastal zone in the north of Portugal recognized the first surfing reserve in Europe and second in the world. Here are surfing competitions each year. Ericeira was born and lives in Portugal surfing champion Tiago Pires and it has its own surf school and a large shop with skate park boardshop. The town where we lived Ericeira really very popular among surfers, there are several surf camps, and more than a dozen beaches with excellent waves.
On the northern coast of Portugal, you can go to any beach and surfing is provided to you. It all depends on your skill level and waves. Many beaches have surf equipment rentals, you can also enroll in a surf school, live in camping and surfing from five days to several months. I did not dare to try their hand at surfing, but the husband yes!
Portuguese friendly, welcoming, and very fond of leisurely chat. They are proud of their history and honor the traditions, preserving the past in the present.
You can take bikes for ran in many cities in Portugal. This is an excellent opportunity to go round the next neighborhood. We always try to take the bikes to rent in new cities.
Portugal — is a gastronomic paradise. Portuguese cuisine for me was delicious and varied Spanish. All restaurants and cafes serving the freshest seafood caught in the Atlantic Ocean. The Portuguese are very proud of cuisine and a responsible attitude toward food. I advise everyone to try traditional Portuguese dishes kataplanu seafood and meat cod. Served in a special copper pan in the shape of shells, a real masterpiece.
Of course you cann’t ignore the sardine. You can try the grilled sardines or buy canned sardines in any street shop or supermarket. The Portuguese are so fond of this fish that use it as a symbol of all walks of life. Sardinia can be found on the bags, on postcards, on the walls of houses and even in the symbolism and advertising banks.
As it turned out, the Portuguese big sweet tooth. Even Italy with its sweets gives way to Portugal. Drink a cup of strong coffee with Portuguese sweet pastries can be practically on every corner. These coffee shops called Pastelaria, translated from Portuguese confectionery. The most delicious national cake — Pastel de nata, in Russian sounds like Pashto. Cake with egg custard, invented by nuns of the monastery Jeronimos in Lisbon baked throughout Portugal.
In Portugal, so beautiful nature and a clean air, and one and the other is not possible to see a lot and breathe. I would like to stop the time, I want to be silent, I want to live here.