My exploratory trip to Portugal

I have been to Portugal three times. The first time with my parents and the next time many years later with my husband. I don’t recall much about my first visit to Portugal. My second stay was at the end of a Mediterranean cruise and I came down with a miserable cold so I wasn’t able to enjoy the time I had there.

After hearing how much my friends loved living in Portugal as expats from the US, I took another look at the country. Much of Portugal reminds me of Southern California, the climate, the varied terrain and the beaches. The cost of living makes it affordable and it is a perfect base to explore that side of the world…so I decided to make another trip, this time with the thought of possibly living in this foreign land.

As it turned out, I loved the experience of being there and will take you on a photo journey of my time exploring what I could of this land and its people.

After a horrid flight experience which included spending eight hours at Heathrow Airport, which I now call “retail hell”, I landed in Lisbon and had a cab take me to my hotel.

The cab driver hand signaled me to make sure I buckled my seat belt because it was a harrowing ride through the streets of Lisbon.

Fortunately, when I arrived at Casa de Sao Mamede I was quietly and gently greeted by an attendant who quickly checked me in and guided me to my room.

sao-de-mamede-1
Casa de Sao Mamede

Casa de Sao Mamede was built in the 18th century as a residence for the magistrate, Dr. Manuel José de Faria e Sousa and in 1948 was converted into a family-run hotel.

Fortunately much has been retained including the decorative blue tile that is typical of the country.

My room was comfortable, nicely decorated and spotless. I will be returning each time to this hotel I spend a night or two in Lisbon to explore more of the city.

That evening I went to a restaurant suggested by the hotel attendant which is down the street from the hotel. On the way is a delightful bookstore along with high end dress shops. Since this time I have come across many wonderful bookstores tucked away in Lisbon and Cascais.

The dinner I enjoyed is a typical meal in Portugal made up of perfectly grilled fish potatoes and a green vegetable. Sometimes the vegetables are grilled and when they are, it is to perfection.

My first meal in Lisbon was at Real Fabrica.

(Since this photo, I learned not to begin my meal until after taking an image of it 😉

first meal.jpg

I chose the same restaurant to enjoy my last dinner in Portugal before returning to the US and beginning the process of relocation to my new adopted country.

portugal-dinner

To be continued…

-Dora Taylor

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