Portugal is magical!
I have lived here now for exactly five months! We have been on lock down and shut down due to Covid, exactly half that time, 2 ½ months. I totally understood why and didn’t mind doing my part to keep everyone in my newly adopted city, myself included, safe.
My first year plan for living here is to get to know the city of Lisbon, intimately, and experience as much of the rest of the country’s beauty as I can. That’s still the plan, although we have been limited in our travel to within municipalities for a bit. But, looking back, I really have seen and done so much in my initial, nearly half year. It seems that every day is a pleasure; I do something new, see something new, learn something new, and meet someone new. Any anxiety or second thoughts that I’ve had in the past, before moving here, are just a fading memory that brings a smile to my face.
In my video below, you can see some of the places I have visited so far and have become very familiar with. It starts in my new home, Lisbon, “The City of Seven Hills.” I’ve made it my mission to walk those hills everyday and I’ve really gotten to know the various neighborhoods and their distinct flavors and personalities. And whether I am hiking along the River Tagus (Tejo), walking through Commerce Square, Belem, or wandering the narrow, cobblestone streets of Alfama, I’m continually surrounded by beauty and history. It’s as if I’m living in a piece of art! A beautiful, colorful, masterpiece created by one of the greats!
From the over 100 countries I’ve visited throughout my life, on business and pleasure, Portugal has to be the absolute friendliest. The people here are genuine, open and eager to engage or help. And it doesn’t matter which city I’m visiting, the common denominator is the people. Their open kindness and the way of life is something the whole world can learn from.
My friend, Ana-Paula, took me on a scenic car ride this past December. We traveled along the coast through Cascais, Cabo da Roca, Guincho Beach and before returning home, we enjoyed a fantastic dinner at a restaurant in Sintra. That was my first experience outside of Lisbon and it was awesome! That trip even motivated me to return to Cascias, for a most enjoyable week, exploring the town and its beaches. Because of my love of surfing, I’m seriously thinking about moving to this “California meets Portugal” small city. It’s known as the Portuguese Riviera, with its castle, the palms, markets, shops, restaurants and the beautiful beaches.. It has a slower pace than Lisbon, if you can imagine that!
I have recently returned from a one week stay in the charming fishing village of Nazare; home to the largest waves on the planet! Because of the lock down, I was not able to get there during the peak season for waves, but I got a taste of the personality and flavor of the people and atmosphere. I’ll definitely return sometime between November and February to visit some new friends I made, and to witness the 80-100 foot waves in person!
Next week, I am heading back to the USA to get my second Pfizer vaccination and afterward, I’ll be taking a side trip to see my nephew Sean, in Colorado. I’m really looking forward to doing some hiking in the Rockies! Hopefully, I’ll have a wonderful and picturesque video and photos to share!
Some of the upcoming trips I’m planning in Portugal are; The island of Madeira, Obidos, Coimbra, Porto, and a return trip to Sintra – not necessarily in that order!
This much I know – every day I wake up, I pinch myself as I feel blessed and fortunate to have landed in this spectacular, ancient city in this friendly, warm and beautiful country. Life is good!
is indeed magical!