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Back home again: so much to say about Portugal, what should I write about first?

November 7, 2009

castle at SIntraNow that I’m back home in Southern California, everyone’s asking me about Portugal. As soon as I start talking about one thing or another, people are so full of questions, I never seem to finish as story when I’m off on a tangent and another and another!

I am realizing just HOW MUCH I learned in one jam packed week.  There is so much I want to say, so many stories I want to tell that I see I will need to spend some time just figuring out how to present it here in this medium.

I’m tempted to start off by writing a post about my last day in Lisbon when we visited the ancient city of Belem, the castle at Sintra (pictured), had an amazing lunch of fresh seafood on the coast, and dinner in downtown Lisbon with fado singers. Maybe I’ll get started on that tonight and get it posted tomorrow.

I know I want to do a post about my day learning all about cork, visiting the cork oak forest and a factory, plus tasting wines grown in the Ribatejo region and having lunch at one of the wineries.

And another post about how most of the wine in Portugal comes from grapes grown by farmers who belong to one of the cooperatives. And then of course, a post or two or three about the three wineries we visited and the wines we tasted there.

Then there will be 1-3 posts about each of the three castles we visited, another one about Belem, one about Evora, one about fado music. I’d love to write in loving detail about each restaurant we visited and about the amazing cuisine in Portugal, but I’ll probably condense that into restaurants in the Alentejo and in the Lisbon area.

Maybe one about the aquarium and other things to do in Lisbon…

And of course, I have photographs to share about all of this.

So dear reader, what would you like to know more about? What interests you the most? Where should I start?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2009 11:27 am

    Well, I don’t suppose you had time to watch any football. Did you see the big statue of Eusebio? Never mind, what about the wine? And the castles?

  2. November 8, 2009 4:10 pm

    Didn’t get to any live futbol games but my host Delfim Costa is a fan and there was a big game on one night so as we were strolling the waterfront, he stopped in a few places where the game was playing to see the score. And another game was on on the plane. And I heard that in many games there are heart attacks and people die plus the story of someone’s friend who takes the game so seriously he tapes it, finds out who won and then watches it to make sure he doesn’t have a heart attack. Does that count? Probably not.

    I think I saw the statue (near Belem?) but didn’t get any pictures. And yes, I’ll get to more about wines and castles!! Did you spend much time in Portugal when you were in Europe? Did you get far outside of Lisbon?

  3. Manuel permalink
    November 8, 2009 6:19 pm

    Co-op grape farmers are a significant yes – yet not overwhelming percentage of producers… there are still quite a few independents, and frequently many of the best “limited run” wines (less than 1000 bottles) come from these still very traditional and fiercely independent producers.

    Pssst… Belem is gorgeous, yes – but it’s a neighborhood of Lisbon, not a city unto itself :)
    Like I said, fiercely independent – does it show much ? :)

  4. November 9, 2009 4:55 pm

    Manuel, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    Yes you’re right that Belem is a section of Lisbon–I didn’t phrase that very well!

    It seemed from my sources that much of the wine comes from the coops so I will check into this further. Thanks for the info!

  5. November 9, 2009 10:42 pm

    Ah, jet lag. What to do, but sleep it off. yesterday, I was wide awake at 2:00 a.m., and asleep (of and on) by 6:00 p.m. Today, it was 4:00 p.m. that I started my day, and knowing that I won’t hold on past 7-8 p.m.

    There’s also so much inside of me that needs to get out, but it’s still a bit scrambled. We’ll both get there.

    Your son’s so sweet, BTW, and I love the Scary, Smelly Pirate story. Great job on both of your parts.

    And, your shadow self portrait… so cool!

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