Portugal

A couple of years ago i spent a month in Portugal at this time .Here are some thought from then
I have written a couple of posts mostly putting down what i have seen here in Portugal.I am imbedded here and being hosted and am “in family” as it were and being given a rare tour behind the scenes. That has afforded me a view that no tourist can touch and so i can talk about a certain perspective that will be missing from a tourist guide book.
There are many things i like about Portugal not least are some of the people. Sure there is a taciturn dark mood here but there are also outbursts of friendliness and Joi de vivre and a generosity that can’t be beat.I have found my new friends here to be intellectual,erudite,charming,funny and adventurous.Indeed i have found a family here and have been treated as one of them ,language lost in translation notwithstanding. Their language is incomprehensible and the few words i have managed to learn i have mangled and i can see the winces on their faces and the mirth in their smiles. The Portuguese are flattered and surprised that someone would bother to learn their language i think.I suspect they harbor a certain pride about the inaccessibility of their language. Some wag referred to the Portuguese language as sounding like one is water sking as they slur words together in a sluishh sound.
I love how the Portuguese are family people and dote on their children and gather at restaurants and cafes by the sea and indulge in volumes of fish and meats and coffee with vivacity.
The beer here is Super Bock ,the beer of the North where i am staying in the city of Porto and i must say i like it a lot ,me who doesn’t drink much beer.
I also think Portuguese coffee is the best in Europe much better than Spain and Switzerland and Germany and Paris. When i exclaim so to a local they readily agree with pride that they know coffee mostly through their connection to Angola and other former colonies in Africa.
There is a dish here that is from this city mainly and that is called Francesinha or little Frenchie ,an impossible dish of white bread with stacked slices of ham,beef,and pork coated with cheese and covered by a spicy sauce of beer and tomato and chili with a fried egg and french fries an always washed down with a Super Bock beer. It is beyond belief and not for the dainty of stomach but it makes a hell of an eating experience and goes down as one of the best sandwiches this intrepid traveler has encountered around the world.
The restaurant /cafe Lado B Rua Passos Manuel 190 192 | Frente ao Coliseu do Porto, Porto 4000-382, Portugal
is the best place in Porto to have this sandwich.
I love the architecture here ,gothic churches and jagged spires and crenelated castles and tiled walls centuries old of blue patina and i especially like the narrow streets with dark buildings at once sinister and mysterious and charming. Walk down the wrong street though and you may lose your wallet or your life but i have been down those also where the whores are ancient and cat call you as you walk by and slitted eyes stare at you from doorways.
This is Porto Portugal also.
Worth the look and a hasty get away also. Again not for the faint of heart.
I have not found any anti semitism here like i recently found in Spain I have also not heard any anti Israel sentiment. I have heard mention of great regret for the Inquisition and pride that one man named Sousa saved over 10,000 Jews by granting them exit visa’s from France.
The cafes are the best i have seen and being a connoisseur of cafes around the world this is no idle boast.
They have history and wonderful pastries to boot.
I usually have several cups of coffee in a day all in different cafes and am never left wanting.

Jonathon Lipsin's photo.
Jonathon Lipsin's photo.

francesafinal th porto-old-town-and-river-douro-cropped-xlarge porto_cafe_majestic porto_cafes

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2 Responses to Portugal

  1. Paula November 15, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

    Really love it!!! Thanks for you friendship!!!😘

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