This beautiful piece of land on the edge of Europe is the home of people for whom the charm of the simple pleasures is beloved. Charming streets are full of small cafes, after three o’clock in the windows of houses you can only see laundry hanging on strings, which lazily moves in the wind. Strolling the narrow maze of intricately arranged decorative sidewalks and enjoying the wonderful compositions of ceramic tiles azulejos, you may encounter unexpectedly lemon and orange trees, or hear over the city a plaintive melody of fado.
This is not a country bored with life, because life is here celebrated with indescribable passion. Smiling and open the Portuguese enjoy each passing moment – talking, quietly reading newspapers, slowly drinking coffee and watching people, I loved sharing time with family and take great pleasure with the common meals. The joy of being together is evident in an excellent, respectful agreement between the old and the young who, due to their small cups of strong, very sweet espresso with a little milk, play together until late at night.
Culinary Arts of Portugal are a truly spectacular combination of simplicity and finesse – each region has its sweets and great ideas for cooking excellent specialties, which are the subject of real pride: excellent cheeses, cod dried in the sun, tri-color beans and flavorful meats presunto, all served with fine wines.
The Portuguese Port wine is especially famous from the Douro Valley, a place where you can see how the best port in the world is made. Every year in May people come to Porto – the city at the mouth of the Douro River to the Pacific Ocean – to the wine festival to see special boats flowing down the river to the valley, carrying as it used to barrels full of excellent wine. Interestingly, the best flavored port is achieved by aging in barrels from a special species of Polish and Czech oak, the performance of which costs a fortune, but the result is worth its price. In addition to wine festivals Portuguese respect their old traditions expressed in many other festivals, during which preserve the original costumes and ceremonies.
This country is full of testimonies of its rich heritage, hidden among the phenomenally beautiful nature. Although its capital, Lisbon, is an amazing city, where you can admire the beauty in addition to the many scenic viewpoints, towers, fortifications, and even a special tram, the uniqueness of Portugal fully understands and appreciates you choosing to one of the smaller towns. Tempting cozy sleepy towns and stunning beaches, sumptuous palaces and castles of Sintra, along with the wonderful cape Cabo de Roca, or the stunningly beautiful Algarve coast in the south of the country or lying far away on the ocean island of Madeira.
Portugal is really a captivating beauty of simplicity: a blue sky with small little clouds, sun, ocean, air, wrapped in vines and bougainvillea whitewashed walls, red roofs and the joy that comes from everyday life.