Portugal

Die Küstenstadt Porto im Norden von Portugal by AchimMeurer.com                     .

Cultural Differences between Germany and Portugal

We spend already some weeks in Portugal and realized some differences so far. In Portugal everybody has a lot of time. Just quickly does not work here. Even if you only ordered some water and no other customer is in the restaurant it might take up to 10 minutes before you will get your drink. We were too often too German and asked whether our order had been forgotten. No it was not. It is just the fact that in Portugal it takes much more time. Concerning reclamations it means when they say: „We immediately care about it“ it might take a couple of days. One waiter in Portugal brought it to the point by asking us: „Give me two hours.“ Car With our rental car we also drove on the highway. Therefore we had to acitivate a device in the car for the toll. Only with that device you

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Sonnenuntergang am Strand in Aguda in der Nähe von Porto in Portugal by AchimMeurer.com                     .

Porto and the North of Portugal

Porto – the little sister of Lisbon – how this town is also called. We have spent ten days here and can say: Yes, there is some truth to it. Porto is the little sister but does not need to hide behind the capital at all. The position is similar. At a mouth of a river. And it also has a lot to offer. The old town still exists entirely; at least all the houses are still there. Some are old and deteriorate. But on the other hand there is a lot of construction work and renovation going on. Take a walk along the alleys and streets and stroll between the small houses. Our tipp: Walk along one side of the street and take the other back. So you can see the wonderfully decorated facades. They are so nicely and lush decorated and you won’t see them by walking near

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Die Stadt Porto in Portugal by AchimMeurer.com                     .

Week 66 and 67: Porto and the North of Portugal

From Lisbon we drove towards a more quiet region: To Porto. To the little sister of the capital as they say. We took two deviations from our route. First to Fatima with its huge monastery. But we actually did not see anything of it as there have not been any parking places left. Every place was occupied. And there are very many parking lots. Maybe it was because of the Sunday. We went on to Coimbra. There we spent much more time. We walked through the alleys. Uphill and downhill and admired again beautiful houses decorated with tile pattern and squiggled balconies. It is a wonder that all still exists and there are no architectural blunders from the 70s or 80s. In the early evening we checked into our hotel with a sea view. Here everybody was much more relaxed than in Lisbon. Breakfast here is nice and the Wifi

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Week 65 – Lisbon

There was quite a difference between Algarve and Lisbon. Capital instead of steep coasts. Many people instead of much landscape. Traffic in Lisbon is rather exhausting and after taking our rental once to get to an appointment within the town the rental car stayed in the car park. And we changed to metro, taxi or tuk-tuk. That worked fine. We only took our breakfast once in the five star hotel and rather went for the rest of the week to small cafes which are also visited by the inhabitants. That was nice. At the hotel there was a lot of chaos and stress at the buffet. The waiter were overchallenged and it was noisy and hectically. That is not our idea of a relaxed breakfast. The touristic highlights have also not been our cup of tea. Dozens of coaches which spill out big tourist groups and people that queue in

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One Week at Lissabon and Surroundings

Our arrival with the rented car at Lissabon was an adventure. After spending time at the Algarve and a trip to Evora it was not only quite late that day but the traffic was also quite different. More … southern… There are traffic lights and lanes and roundabouts and everything but those things are sometimes not really taken seriously. Our sat nav brought us to our hotel and there was an underground parking. After one single try to reach something within Lisbon by rental car we used the rest of the week the public metro, a tuk-tuk or a taxi. We can only recommend this. Especially if you are not really fond of turbulent traffic. Taxis are affordable and the drivers that we had were nice and fair. Okay. Let’s go right into the center. Seven stations with the metro. We were (unfortunately) several times warned, to have an eye on

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Week 63 and 64 – Algarve in Portugal

Somehow we get lost in counting our weeks because we have been booked for ten days or longer – not that we would complain, though… Our second part of week 63 and week 64 we spent in Portugal at the Algarve. Algarve – dream like coast with steep rock walls, incredible colours of the water and very good mediteranien food. We stayed at the resort Quinta do Paraiso. And there was everything that defines a resort: pool, pool bar, animation, fixed and guided tours and buffets with a lot of well known dishes… We arrived late after our flight and picking up our rental car. We have been searching for our house in this huge area. We should search a couple of times though during the next days even with the  support – or shall we say misguidance? – of our sat nav. Our best times was 15 minutes search

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The East Coast of Algarve

With our rental car we drove along the east coast. In about an hour you can get to the Spanish boarder by the way. Our first stop was Tariva. In the middle of the town there is a river which has more or less water according to the tides. One of the bridges that combines the old town with the center is from Roman times. We strolled through the alleys and admired the old houses that are still completely tiled. You can also find tile pictures in the church. There is also a lush golden altar. Very special. In the middle of fortification walls there is a shadowy garden with lots of flowers and trees. You can also find some fruits there. From the top of the walls you have a nice view over the village. Near the Spanish boarder lies the dreamy fishermen’s village Cacela Velha. Here only a

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The West Coast of the Algarve in Portugal

When you are in Portugal it is kind of inevitable to visit the most western point of Europe. No sooner said than done. The view is stunning. Unfortunately there is no special spot for the obligatory photographic proof. Otherwise there is some hustle and bustle and there are some booths. You can also get the famous last Bratwurst before America… You can also climb through the rocks. But be careful. There are no barriers and it might be stormy. On our way back we stopped at the beach of Beliche. A wide way with short steps leads down to the beach. There are some surfers to be seen and there are some visitors. You can rent parasols and there is a beach bar. Small, quiet, cozy and beautiful. There are two restaurants at the street. That’s it. We have been to Terra. There you can get the best pasteis de

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The Hinterland from Algarve

If you can get enough of the steep coasts and rocks and water that glows in different colours, you can go to the hinterland. We went by rental car to Monchique. On our way we admired the many many stork nests. They are everywhere. On lamp posts, chimneys and trees. Some storks where there and clattered loudly. When we arrived at Monchique there was a handicraft festival. There were lots of booths with handmade items. But there was also old handicraft like basket-weaving to be seen. And in one booth there was a hand-loom. In the center a sign says: Miradouru. So we walked uphill through small streets. We landed at a wide place with fountains. Unfortunately they were not running. But we had a nice view from there. Our continuation of the journey to the highest point ‚Foia‘ was due to a forest fire impossible. But the nice policeman

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Culinary Algarve

At the coast of the Algarve you will get – oh wonder – a lot of fish and seafood. We tried out some restaurants and were also allowed to look behind the scenes. Our first restaurant was spot on: A Boneca. In the middle of grottos and caves but with sea view. Here you can get freshly caught fish which is grilled on charcoal. But also seafood and other Portuguese dishes are on the menu. And the sunset watched from top of the rock right beside the restaurant is stunning.  A reservation is necessary. In the hinterland near Monchique there is a small but fine nice garden restaurant. Jardim das Oliveiras. In the middle of cork trees it offer Portuguese meat dishes. But also vegetarians find something on the menu. Both owner who speak different languages look for quality and put some effort in buying from the local neighbours and

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