Portugal Traveling Destination Photographer - Part 3
I have enjoyed sharing with you my Spain adventures these last few weeks. It has allowed me to relive the great adventure I had with my mom overseas. If you haven't read Part 1 or Part 2 of the traveling photographer series, I highly recommend checking those out first!
We saw so much in Spain and were literally on the move constantly. We got a great taste of different regions of Spain in such a short amount of time. For the last part of our trip, we headed to Portugal, Spain's neighboring country. Before going on the trip, I hadn't done much research on the countries we were going to. I figured the tour guides would explain most of it and they did an incredible job. In Portugal particularly, we had the most amazing tour guide. She shared the really amazing parts of Portugal and why so many people love living there. She also didn't shy away from telling us about the hard economic state Portugal is in along with their odd rivalry with Spain.
We learned very quickly that Portuguese people don't love everything about the Spanish culture. They prefer to be asked up front if they can speak English or Spanish. They get pretty irritated when Americans try to talk to them in Spanish right off the bat. I totally understand but it was something we weren't aware of until getting to the country and experiencing it.
We spent two nights in Lisbon before heading back to the states. The weather as we moved closer to Portugal was much colder and rained the first day we arrived.
After arriving to Lisbon, we spent part of the day exploring outside of the city to a little neighboring town called Obidos. Obidos is a beautiful little town with cobblestones streets and quant shops. It's a great day trip to take if you're exploring Lisbon's countryside. The city has a cobblestone wall all the way around it that used to protect it like a fortress. During the summer or high tourist season, you can barely walk around. Many people come to their area and also explore the great beaches outside of Portugal. The city is well known for an alcoholic drink called Ginja that is served with dark chocolate cups.
After spending several hours in Obidos, we headed to Fatima. The town itself doen'st have much in it other than well known medical research facilities. The reason most people make the drive is for the amazing catholic Pilgrimage site. People from Portugal and all over come at least once a year to pray and experience the peace the property has to offer. Imagine St. Peter's Square but on a smaller scale.
Below are my top recommendations if you ever visit Lisbon:
- Old Alfama Quarter - This is a beautiful place on the coast with charming neighborhoods and sites to see.
- Belem Tower - This was a quick stop for us but worth the view. On one side you could see the tower and the other a great view of what looks like San Francisco's golden gate bridge. Lisbon has a very similar bridge. The bridge was built by an American company who also built the Oakland bridge.
- Jeronimos Monastery - This Monastery has great views of the Targus River that runs next to Portugal.
- Sr. Fado Restaurante - This was one of the most authentic experiences we had in Portugal. Fado is a type of folk music. We all crammed into this authentic restaurant in the old part of Lisbon. It was a family run business and after they served our delicious meal, all five people working began singing and playing. The restaurant felt like a little hole in the wall but it was such a fun experience!
- Fabrica Coffee Roasters - This location is off the main shopping street well known in Lisbon. I could have gotten lost wandering the streets near the coffee shop. I bought some coffee beans from this coffee place and they have been some of the best we have ever had! The atmosphere in the coffee house is warm and inviting and they speak great English!