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Portugal Part IV

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Hey! I hope you all have a great week so far! Actually I wanted to bring the Portugal series to a worthy end with this post but as there are some good shots left there will be one more ūüôā As always hope you enjoy!

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Lisboa, Alfama. We didn’t try neither Sangria nor Caipirinha. Wine is quite cheap even ordered in a restaurant (but not as cheap as in Sicily). I like Sangria though, guess I have to visit Portugal again to try the Portuguese one

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Another shot of the great Mosteiro do Jéronimos in Bélem. The entry was a couple of Euros and it was very much worth it. It was great. Our (first) hostel was around the corner practically. The tramway line leads straight into the city centre, our daily commuter. Not always as modern as this one sometimes cranky and out of wood, but even more charming!

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A busy street in Lisboa. As I wrote in previous posts Lisboa is interesting because it is very much European in every sense of the word but also kind of out of time and laid down. A bit like a living anachronism. You don’t have a McDonalds and H&M on every corner (I didn’t say there are none of them ;)). There are many small shop and handcraft, even shoe cleaners. At the same time it is not stressful at all like Italy (‚ô•)¬†or other southern countries¬†sometimes tend to be.

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Self examining seagulls. You are pretty – don’t worry

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One of many traditional wine distilleries in Porto. Well, that is not entirely correct. Actually the distilleries are on the other side of the river in Gaia. On paper it is an independent city but most consider it part of Porto anyway (and the wine is called portwine in the end isn’t it?).

So what is actually the story behind portwine? It is stronger and sweeter to be more durable during long ship journey’s. One day an¬†englishman¬†came to Porto, liked the local wine and took a bottle as souvenir to England. It turned out to be a hit and englishmen – being englishmen – did start to settle down in Porto and make businesses out the production and shipping of the wine. Now this small local tradition became truly global. By the way you can visit these distilleries – like the above Sandeman – and taste all the wines! The 10 years old Sandeman was my personal favorite

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Let’s stay with food ūüôā Usually I don’t like food pictures – we see enough of them in advertisement and they make hungry – but unfortunately I guess I have to make you hungry right now. Because I feel like a Portugal recapture could not be complete without a picture of a gorgeous gargantuan amazing good deadly Francesinha.

So what is it? It is a toast with different kind of meat in a cheese crust dunked into tomato / wine sauce (with about 2331859 calories). I’ve never heard of it before and the story behind of it is kind of great: In the fabulous 1920s there was once a man from Portugal traveling to Paris liking all the beautiful girls there (get it). That was a contrast for him as he only knew the not so outgoing (very catholic country) and very thin Portuguese girls. So he invented the Francesinha – small French – to make the Portuguese girls gain some weight and make them all hot ūüôā I guess it worked out quite well.

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In the background you see the bridge of the 25 of April in Lisboa. It is a magnificent bridge and I talked already about it in a previous post. I guess the view speaks for itself.

Portugal Part III

So if you did like the last two and didn’t get bored I’d like to invite you for a further recapture of Portugal in February 2013.

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In the foreground you see a seller of chestnuts. The nuts are very good and you should definitely try them. Besides of that the sellers add charme to Lisboa. So it is nice to support them either way ūüôā¬†What they are standing on is worth mentioning¬†too. It is a specific Portuguese form of a cobbled pavement called¬†Cal√ßada Portuguesa. An art which the country is known for and which can be seen (and walked on)¬†throughout¬†the city. The patterns are often beautiful and you only have to look down to enjoy them – but don’t run into a tree, please.

In the background you see the Elevador de Santa Justa or also called Elevador do Carmo. It connects the Baixa (downtown) with a higher part of the city (Chiado) and was build by an¬†associate¬†of Gustave Eiffel, the Paris tower guy. It has a steam punk vibe to it,¬†being¬†definitely¬†a genius piece of 19th century engineering. The elevator combines “modern” steel as building material and traditional ornaments as decorative art. But what I personally liked most was the connecting bridge at the top. It lead through a rooftop and – more amazingly – through the¬†remainings¬†of an old church which was destroyed in the earthquake of 1755.

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I imagine how the driver saw this house and then a free parking spot and thought MATCH! Or maybe he is the house owner too and fond of the color yellow ūüôā

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Another¬†architectural¬†piece of an associate of Eiffel – the Dom Luise bridge in Porto. This one was build by¬†Th√©ophile Seyrig. There is a similar bridge further away from the city centre also build by the same architect before. But Eiffel didn’t give any credit to Seyrig so he decided to compete against his former teacher in the contest for the bridge. After Seyrig¬†won Eiffel was¬†supposedly¬†so angry about it that he decided to build the Eiffel Tower. Or so.

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As Lisboa Porto has many viewing points (miradouros) and even more seagulls ūüėČ They told us they are can be quite aggressive and annoying. But as a mainlander I enjoyed them very much and I prefer them¬†definitely¬†to pigeons – or the rats of the skies – as I joke sometimes. They are¬†gorgeous.

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The monument for the Portuguese seafarer. It reaches out in to the see and into the unknown with the seamen (and priests ūüėČ ) longing for a new world.¬†The details are just beautiful and I can very recommend a visit in Bel√©m, an¬†interesting¬†and worth visiting part of Lisbon crowned by this monument. You can also visit the top of it and get a great view on the Tejo.

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A view of Lisboa from the¬†Castelo de S√£o Jorge. You see the main square and a part of the city not laying directly to the water. Being in the old town you don’t immediately¬†realize how big Lisboa¬†actually¬†is. But being up here you are definitely reminded that you are in a European metropole indeed.