Skip to content

Of Land and Sea: Nature of Portugal

test

Most travellers of Portugal know Lisbon, some go to the Algarve in the south. Mainly for classic beach vacations in holiday resorts. Not as well known though is the natural part of the country.

Laying open to the grand Atlantic Ocean, the Portuguese coast seems endless with steep cliffs and beautiful sand beaches. As the sea is in the west, the sunsets are especially beautiful and vivid. At this time of the day sailing ships tend to roam the horizon, even enhancing the kitschy scenery. Probably you will have a companionship of seagulls around you, they seem to enjoy the sunsets as much as the humans.

Even less known is the “hinterland”. Especially the north of the country offers a lot to the backpacker with high mountain ranges and magnificent castles. The weather tends to be a bit cooler in these regions, perfect for a hike in the evening. So what are you waiting for? The adventure awaits!

IMG_6764

IMG_9440
IMG_7122 IMG_1281
IMG_2041IMG_9416
IMG_8456IMG_1920
IMG_9458IMG_7458 IMG_9515

On a Farm in the Midst of the Sea

In the midst of the Atlantic Ocean between the land masses of North America and Europe there are some sprinkled islands of volcanic origins called the Azores. If you want to find them on a map you probably need a pair of glasses. While they seem to disappear in the vast blue surrounding them, the inhabitants are there withstanding the forces of the ocean for many hundred of years already, living mostly of agriculture carried out on the rich volcanic soil of the islands. Products from the Azores like milk and cheese are well known for their quality in mainland Portugal, to which the nine islands belong politically. Also there is some tourism. Since 2015 Ryan Air is operating flights to the islands from Lisbon and Porto. Together with a friend we seized the opportunity and took a flight to the main island of São Miguel. We travelled the island by bike and by public busses mostly. Cruising through green landscapes and passing by cattle, visiting small villages and meeting friendly people. Always on the canvas of a vast endless ocean.

test

IMG_1849IMG_0931IMG_0631IMG_0964IMG_0794 IMG_0828   IMG_1917IMG_0182IMG_0678

Streets of Lisbon

The fascinating thing about Lisbon it is a very old and a very modern city at the same time. Very few towns seem to be able to combine these two qualities as well as Lisbon does. Barcelona on the other side of the Iberian peninsula springs to my mind. The end product is a very lively, yet beautiful metropole with a lot of character. Also there are cute yellow trams, everybody loves these trams.

test

IMG_1596 IMG_1613 IMG_1321 IMG_2681 IMG_6750 IMG_3903 IMG_1567 IMG_2260 IMG_3928

Discovering Lisboa

I am living in Lisbon now since November, there are a couple more months to come. But inevitably I will have to take my flight back as my stay here is limited. What will I miss? A beautiful city that’s for sure. And the Portuguese winter. Of course there are rainy days, but when the sun is out the city shines and the people smile (the last one is a cliche ;)). So what I like to do is to seize the day (off) and focus on certain parts of the city and take my time. The beautiful thing about staying in a city for a longer period of time is precisely the luxury of being able to do this kind of “salami tourism”. It allows me to discover hidden streets and uncover interesting artifacts of urbanity (like street art) off the well travelled routes. Tough a post titled “Discovering Lisboa” has to start with a known and beloved view I guess, so here we go:

test

IMG_0473 Kopie IMG_3865 Kopie (1)     IMG_1051 KopieIMG_10514IMG_2372 Kopie (1)sunsetlisboa
IMG_0834

1 14 15 16 21