Floating in Portugal

Let mi share with you two great photos from Portugal.

When I saw that this week’s photo challenge theme is afloat this were two photos that came to my mind. First one I made in Costa Nova, small village near to Aveiro where you, if you will ever go there, have to take a walk over beautiful long sandy beach. Lot of surfers from all over the world come here to ride the waves and to show you all the stunts they know!

And this cute furry animal was the sweetest creature in the Lisbon Oceanarium. The way he is floating is just adorable. He was so relaxed, almost sleeping. It would be great to cuddle him a bit. 🙂 If you are in Lisbon, visit Oceanarium in Parque das Nacoes, and learn fascinating facts about the oceans.

From south to north of Portugal (II)

Here it is, the second part of my story about trip to Portugal. As I already wrote, and you can read it here, I went there with two of my friends, we spent two weeks there traveling from south to north of the country. After Lisbon, Peniche, Nazare and Coimbra we continued to Aveiro, Porto, Braga and Barcelos. Portugal is country where awesome people live, where climate is perfect and the food is even better so if you ever get the chance to go there don’t miss it.

Aveiro

 

Aveiro is very nice small town in the Centro region of Portugal that will offer you beautiful historical sights and long sandy beaches for those who are ready for lazy vacation. This is also one of the towns that has beautiful canals that are passing through so take a ride with gondola and discover Aveiro from the other perspective. After that and nice walk through the narrow streets find a place on the terrace in one of the restaurants near the water, try some Portuguese food from the menu and experience everything that Aveiro has to offer. One more tip, if you want to enjoy in the great view over the ocean go to Costa Nova do Prado where you can get most easily by short bus ride.

Porto

Porto is second largest city in Portugal. It is situated in the Norte region on the river Douro. We were very excited before getting to Porto because it was one of the cities that we always wanted to visit. We were staying in a hostel a bit far away from the center but it was very easy to get to the main sights. There is a metro line but we walked almost all the time regardless to all the steep streets. As you already know this town is famous for its wine and when you get there you must go to wine cellars to see how they produce Porto, it is very interesting and you will also have the chance to taste it. If you like sweet wines you will love it for sure.

 

As we really love to eat a lot while we are on the road, among lots of great dishes you have to try franceschina, their famous dish. It doesn’t look very nice but if you are very hungry this is the best choice for you. It is made of bread, ham, sausages, steak or roast meat and it is covered with melted cheese and the topping is made of beer. It is served with the French fries. What do you think? If it doesn’t sound good for you they also eat lots of fish so in one of the restaurants near the river you can taste some specialties. FranceschinaSo, in Porto you will find all that you need as a traveler: beautiful sights, tasteful food and very friendly people, just relax and enjoy.

Braga and Barcelos

Braga is on the north of the country and it was the last stop of our adventure in Portugal. Football lovers will probably associate this city with S.C. Braga, the most famous sport club in town. It is very nice city but there is nothing much to do there, especially at night. So come here during the day trip because if you want to party it is not the best choice. Just a bit outside of Braga is a sight that you can’t miss, Portuguese sanctuary Bom Jesus do Monte. To get to the basilica you can take a ride with old funicular that was built in 1882 and it is the oldest in the Iberian Peninsula. Interesting thing is that it is moving by water counterbalancing. The church is surrounded with beautiful garden and the view of Braga from the top is awesome. To get down take the stairs, around 600 stairs. On your way you will pass by many fountains but five are special and each is dedicated to one of the five senses. All together look very nice and it is definitely worth of visit.

 

From Braga we went on a day trip to Barcelos to see all the handmade roosters that they have on the streets. According to the legend cockerel saved a life of pilgrim that was sentenced for a crime made in Barcelos. The pilgrim said that if he is innocent cockerel will crow three times, and he did it. After that cockerel became a symbol of good luck and it is also an unofficial national icon.

 

Of course, we got one as a souvenir 🙂

Your story: What is your impression of Portugal? If you still haven’t been there is it on your travel list, which cities would you like to visit?

From south to north of Portugal (I)

Two weeks, nine cities, three friends… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Trip to Portugal was really something special. I went there with two friends and now I can say that it was one of my favorite trips. In 15 days we visited nine cities, came home with 1120 photos just to remember all the great things that we discovered in Portugal. Here you can see just part of it…

Lisbon was our first stop. We knew that if Vasco da Gama and Magellan loved it we will feel the same. One thing is for sure: you can’t be bored in Lisbon. We spent three days there and tried to see as much as we could. Tip: Take a ride with tram number 28 which will take you through the oldest quarters all the way to Bairro Alto. Visit Oceanium and discover all the creatures that live in deep blue sea, sense what it looks like to be in tropical woods or jungle or just enjoy  the company of penguins. Take day trip to Sintra and Cabo da Roca (Europe’s westernmost point), you can’t miss that. And of course, you have to try portuguese cousine. Pastries are great but maybe a bit too sweet for my taste. When you visit Torre de Belem try Pasteis de Belem, famous portuguese dessert. Only few people can make you the real one because recipe is strongly guarded secret. For those who are really hungry there is Francesinha, very popular dish from Porto and later I will tell you a bit more about it.

Cascais is small town on the coast, very close to Lisbon, and here we had our first meeting with Atlantic Ocean. First impressions: very cold! But we loved it!

Atlantic ocean

Atlantic ocean

Next stop Peniche, small town also on the coast. Here you will meet surfers from all over the world. If you love to ride big waves come here, you won’t regret it. There’s a great reason why is this city also called “Wave capital”.

Nazare is popular tourist destination. I would describe it as small picturesque village. Walking along beach took us to the funicular and we climb up to the Sitio, old village on the top of the cliff. You can imagine the view from there 🙂

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Nazare

Coimbra, central Portugal If you want to have a really great night out – this is city for you. It’s a student town and young students from other parts of Portugal, and from all over the world, chose precisely Coimbra University, which is established back in 1290.  Visit Joanine Library, one of the oldest in Portugal. The interior is enchanting. During our visit it was time of Coimbra students’ festival – parade that occurs every year at the beginning of the academic year. Streets were full of very loud people and the best thing was that everyone was in good mood. That second we knew we were in the right place at the right time 🙂

Now I have to go pack. It’s time to discover all the secrets of the Bavarian castles. Soon you will hear all about it  🙂