October 20, 2019

A few passing thoughts from our recent trip to Portugal

Originally shared on Twitter, collected here.

October 12
I don’t speak the language, and I’ve only been here a handful of times, but every time I land in this country it feels so much like home.

Colorful street in Lisbon

Futbol match in a Lisbon streetside park

Courtyard garden at the Ismaili Centre Lisbon

View of Lisbon city rooftops

October 12
Of all the surprises and delights we expected to find in Portugal, the most surprising and delightful was running into my friend Suresh while we were heading into have lunch. What a lovely mid-day encounter. (Enjoy the rest of the trip, my friend!)

October 13
I think perhaps I’d like to move to Alfama so I can eat grilled sardines and drink vinho verde on an outdoor patio all afternoon, then listen to fado while drinking port and dão wines all night, then sleep in and eat pastéis de nata for breakfast—then do it all over again.

October 15
I have eaten sardines at least once a day (probably more than once, most days) since arriving here, and have gone to Sol e Pesca twice, and have even bought a pair of sardine socks, so let nobody question my devotion to the delicious little fish.

Sardines on toast

Grilled sardines

Sardine petiscada

Socks with sardines on them

October 16
@Samantha: Had a bifana at Rocinha yesterday and thought of you and Rick.

Bifana sandwich from Rocinha

October 16
In terms of beauty, the train ride from Porto to Pinhão, alongside the Douro River, easily rivals the train ride from Montreux to Geneva along Lac Léman.

I can’t get enough these stunning views of the terraced vineyards descending into the river.

Vineyards and hills in the Douro Valley

Vineyards and hills in the Douro Valley

October 17
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing gorgeous azulejos everywhere we go. (Including the small train station in the tiny village of Pinhâo.)

Azulejos in Lisbon

Azulejos in Lisbon

Azulejos in Vila Nova de Gaia

Azulejos in Pinhao

October 19
Have I eaten at least one pastéis de nata every single day since arriving in this country? Definitely.

Have I perhaps eaten more than one pastel de nata every day? Yes, that is a distinct possibility.

October 20
Coming home from Portugal with two bottles of olive oil, four bottles of port, a dozen tins of fish, a few decorative tiles, a very full belly, and a very full spirit. Has been a successful and delightful escape—and we’ll definitely be back soon.

Pink street in Lisbon

Courtyard of Casa Balthazar

Porto coastline from across the Douro River

Lise and Me in front of a wall of vines

I’ve uploaded a full photo album from the trip over on Flickr.

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