“Invicta” (the unbeaten one) is the epithet of Porto, where in every corner HISTORY is revealed and many stories are told. The shape of the city reveals a solid personality that is exuded through the ancient granite walls, through the mist softly bumping into the tiled facades, through the encounter between the Douro River and the Atlantic Ocean… Wrapped in the plots of the Sea, launched in the vastness of the oceans in search of new worlds, ships, sailors and integrated population sailed on the quest to conquer Ceuta in a beautiful fleet. From Porto to Ceuta and beyond, from many centuries to the present time, Porto...Read More
On a recent short break to Portugal I had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful hilltop town of Sintra. It’s an easy day trip from Lisbon, the capital, and was, in days gone by, the summer retreat of the Portuguese royalty. The old heart of the city is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s full of pastel-coloured estancias, old churches and grand palaces. The city has captivated writers including Byron, Hans Christian Anderson and, more recently, JK Rowling – who named Salazar Slytherin, founder of Slytherin house in her Harry Potter books, after the former Portuguese...Read More
Heading over to the Western end of Sao Miguel, Azores I came to the rim of the Sete Cidades crater. One of the 7 natural wonders of Portugal, I got up there, looked down, and being speechless in my head I screamed WOW! I have seen many many super landscapes and views in my life. This was up there in the ‘you really gotta see this with your own eyes’ group. A huge and wide and deep almost circular crater about 5km across created through thousands and thousands of years of volcanic activity and collapses, now dormant. The Land...Read More
The Azores sit in the middle of the Atlantic between Portugal and America. Gorgeous, green, unique. It’s not just the land that offers uniqueness. Not far off the coast is an abundance of gorgeous life, the marine mammals many only see on TV documentaries. A holiday here can bring you to seeing dreams with your own eyes. The main local residents here are Sperm Whales, dolphins of many varieties including the spotted dolphin, common dolphin and bottlenose. Many pass through on migration, eg the Blue Whale, Fin Whale and even the Orca (Killer Whale).. In fact the list goes...Read More
After adventure over on Pico and Sao Jorge it was time to start exploring Sao Miguel. As with all the islands of the Azores, the ancient formation comes from volcanoes rising from the ocean. Each part of each island being born at different times. This causes a great change in landscape whilst travelling through one island never mind from one to another. Standing on the rim, looking down into the crater and Parish of Furnas I got a view that is mesmerising to say the least. Created over hundreds of thousands of years of volcanic activity, laying before me...Read More
It was time for adventure, it was time for adrenalin and fun. I had hopped across to another gorgeous Azores island, Sao Jorge. Yes the pace of life here is very slow. Small communities around every island with a very warm welcome. In fact one thing that has surprised me lots is that even though as part of Portugal and thus part of the Euro area, the costs are markedly low. Like when ordering a beer I can only smile when they charge me less than € 1.50 each time But a heart pumping adventure escape can be sought…...Read More
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