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Portugal 2006

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    Posted: 3/17/2006 at 1:26pm
Yay, it's been decided we're going to DH's homeland in July!  I just wanted to see if anyone has been there.  My DH has been there about 5 times but when he was really young and only to visit relatives not "travel" per se.  Is there any places in particular that are must-sees, is it worth it to make the trek over to Spain, etc..? TIA




Veronica & Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote irisan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 3/17/2006 at 2:06pm

This has to be one of my favorite topics! Yay, I am happy for you to go. DH hasn't been yet, and I am dying to show him where I was born and for him to meet the rest of my family.

Are you flying into Lisbon? If so, that is a great place to start your trip. Lisbon is such a great city. Some consider it the San Fran of Europe. It's built on 7 hills, and each of the neighborhoods are distinct and really cute. It even has a red bridge and cable cars. Each neighborhood is called a "bairo". One of my favorites is Alfama. It's one of the oldest in the city. Lots of places to check out some amazing fado at night here. (interesting note: anything that starts with an "al-" in Portuguese was an old moorish word) There is still a lot of Moorish architecture and influence there. Must see places are the Tower of Belem, Castello de Sao Jorge, Los Jeronimos, Praca do Comercio. There are so many, it's impossible to list. You should definately get a good guide book for these.

For nightlife check out the Bairo Alto, all the bars and restaurants spill out into the streets, making the streets into one big place to hang out. Things don't really get started until after midnight, closer to 1am and go well into 4 to 5 am.

To the south of Lisbon and past the Alentejo is the Algarve. It has the best beaches in Portugal, but they have been kinda of ruined by all the tourism. Lots and lots and lots of German and English tourists always make this really busy. I haven't really been there much, so I don't know too much about the must see places. But, I am sure there are places off the beaten path that are really cool. The good thing about Portugal is that it's only about an 8 hour drive north to south, so you can always go somewhere else. (Are you planning on driving, because if so, good luck! People drive like freakin' maniacs!!!)

To the North is my favorite part of Portugal, Porto. I am not biased or anything  just because that is where I am from. Porto is where Port wine comes from and what Portugal is named after. It's the oldest part of Portugal. You can tour all of the main wine caves along Villa Nova de Gaia. It's cool, you get to sip and taste the wine at each place.

If you like modern architecture, check out the new Casa da Musica designed by Rem Koolhaas. I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but I really want to.

Porto is a great walking city, so just walk around the Ribeira (near the river) for fun. There are tons of good places to check out that are historical too, but those will probably be in any good guide book. I don't usually go to those places when I am there because I am with family.

Porto has a new subway that should make it easy to navigate the city.

Have fun and let me know if you have any specific questions! Oh, where in Portugal is your hubby's family from?

October 16, 2004
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote irisan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 3/17/2006 at 2:17pm

And one more thing- You are going to love the food! It's SO good in Portugal. Anywhere you go really.

Typical stuff you should try:
-Bacalhau (cod)
-Caldo Verde (soup)
-Any fresh fish really
- Pasteis de Belem (flaky pastry with custard)
-cheese
-Lots and lots of wines

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m&vp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 3/17/2006 at 2:21pm
Wow, eu não soube que você era assim familiar com Portugal!? A família do meu marido é de Algarve e de Fuseta. Obrigada para todo o informação!
I'll post more info as soon as we figure out our flight and itinerary info.  Thanks again!




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m&vp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 3/17/2006 at 2:23pm
We eat all those things you mentioned almost every week when we go visit his mom! I'm not a big fan of Caldo Verde though!  But I love Pastel de Natas!




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote irisan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 3/17/2006 at 2:35pm

De nada! Espero que voces tenhem um bom tempo nas tuas ferias. (sorry I don't have the spiffy accents!)

Your MIL makes pasteis de nata by hand? Wow, that is impressive. It's also hard to find the right kind of cod here. My grandma always brings a ton for my mom when she comes to visit.

It's very cool that he's from the Algarve, that's the place I know the least about. I haven't been to Portugal in almost 4 years though. I will have to go next summer to show everyone the new baby. Before that, I usually went every 2 years or so and stayed for almost the entire summer (so easy when I was in school). My dad is a hippy, so we traveled around a lot when I went to visit. 

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