A Great Country Called: Portugal
A Great Country Called: Portugal Reviews
a great country called: portugal Jul 07, 2008
Portugal, one of the smallest nations in europa, but in the past, together with spain: the most powerful kingdom in the golden age of exploration which left its legacy to south america, africa and asia. Despite it's richness in the past, portugal today, remains one of the poorest countries economically in western europa. But poor in general it is not, as portugal is blessed with beautiful and variety of landscapes from the north to central and to the south, which makes portugal rival switzerland, austria, ireland and greece etc. For these countries are small in size but has more landscape diversity in the continent. And not to mention, portugal has the best weather year round in all of europa.
i had a great chance to discover portugal from north to south. Me and my friends together hired a car and roadtripped the entire country for 4 days and drove along the coast.
and this was the portugal that we had seen from summer of 2008:
from the north, the climate is chilly and windy even in high summer, we were in the city called viana do castelo which is only less than an hour from the border of galicia, spain. The city boast of a magnificent cathedral perched high in the mountain called: cathedral de santa luzia, which national geographic described as a cathedral with one of the most beautiful view in the world. It overlooks the horizon of the tempestuous atlantic ocean and the city center and the old town below.
in the center, it is dry but windy in summer, the coast south of porto, in the towns of ovar, furadouro, cortegaca, and esmoriz are nothing but a wide stretch of sand dunes, dusky in twilight and the forests are full of pine trees and hundreds of camping sites.
then comes the capital lisboa. Lisboa is one of europas underrated capital city, as ive seen it, it is one of the most beautiful cities that rivals madrid and vienna (my 2 favorite cities) i had been to! The old town is enigmatic. It is also one of the lucky country and city in europa which was not bombed in world war 2, so many old and majestic buildings, structures and edifices are intact. The city is very much alive! There are so many influences from the colonies, the samba of brasil, the timorese look, and the multicultural diversity of the african heritage. The city is also very exotic and sexy, so many beautiful people i had seen in my life.
going south, is the region of alentejo, were farms can be seen on the roads, stretching endlessly and clear blue skies in the summer. The region also boast of a national park called parque natural do sudoeste alentejano e costa vicentina. We drove across this park, wiith mountains not more than 1000 meters, but it was a scenic ride, there are little towns inside the natural park - odemira, aljezur and cercal, this area with the small towns still remains as the old portugal, very rustic setting, as if you were put back in time. The less touristic portugal.
and the most southern part of portugal is called the algarve, since it is much more closer to africa and the sahara, it has a very dry and humid climate in summer. The landscape is very different from the rest of portugal, the earth is yellow, cork trees, agave and cactus abound. It is also the top tourist destination of portugal, as in the cities of lagos, albufeira and faro has thousands of beaches to choose from, the beaches here are also warm, compared to the other regions, where the water is chilly even in summer. And out of the touristic eyes are hidden gems in the algarve as lots of grottoes abound in the area of lagoa and lagos.
and i will not forget, portugal is home to only about 10 million people. But due to the unforgetable experiences that we had in the country, the people of portugal never failed to help us in their kind and every little way withouth asking in return. The most hospitable country i had been to.
obrigado portugal, beijo.
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