this is the archive for the ‘in portugal’ category:


when the café has your name on it…

:D

analogue wednesday #153

the pretty trimmings of buçaco palace, as seen by the holga.

hiking 100km: done!

another thing off the list! totaling 100km in hikes wasn’t terribly difficult, and now i think that maybe i could have been a bit more ambitious with the number… something to keep in mind for the next list.

early this morning, we grabbed my cousin daniela and did the last few kilometers going up the senhora da graça.

the path up the hill is mostly through the forest, bordered by granite slabs and pine trees with their sap slowly dripping into collection bags.

the hill is infamous for being one of the hardest climbs of the “volta a portugal” (our national cycling race), and whenever the trails cross the road you can see the painted cheers. in august, people camp on the sides of the road to see their favourite cyclists ride by.

the view from up there is magnificent, the border between minho and trás-os-montes regions stretching ahead of us. i feel a bit drunk on all this green, which seems so different from the muted shades from the south. here in the north, green is everywhere we look, luscious and deep and beautiful.

a friend once said that this must be heimat: to see beauty where others see just rocks and trees. these are the things that give us roots. i think she’s probably right.

folhado de tavira

you know when things look rather promising and then they turn out to be a disappointment?

yeah. i wanted *so much* to like the cake that bears our new hometown’s name… but in the end, it just wasn’t all that great. i’ve tried it twice now, thinking that perhaps the first try had been a fluke — but i couldn’t finish it in either of the attempts, so i think it’s a lost cause for me.

one has to wonder though, what is the point of a folhado (or puff pastry) that is so saturated in syrup as to ruin all its flakiness and turn it unto an unrecognizable soggy mess? :| why would you do that?

when our friend F came to visit a couple of months ago, he pointed to some in a café and asked what they were made of. the person behind the counter replied “sugar!” and left it at that.

i guess if you like eating sugar, this is good stuff. :D

anatomy of summer

summer came late and then all of a sudden. the roads and the beaches filled with tanned bodies, the scent of sunscreen lotion permeating the air. new voices and accents and honks invading our quiet bubbles, their cars parked every which way down the street.

the hills have gone dry and the children cries alternate between pool-side delight and tired tantrums. grass trimmers and pool motors buzz away, giving the cicadas a run for their money. the swallows come and go, like pendulums over our heads. our bodies stick to chairs during the day and to sheets at night.

our favourite restaurants are full, as are the supermarket’s tills… but we don’t really mind. far from invaders, tourists are powering the workforce of the local communities who live for the summer months. they drive the boats, cook the meals, clean the houses and everything else — and they need these months of business to get through the rest of the year.

but for us, summer is the time to leave it all to them. “when the heat dies down, i’ll be back in town”, as they say. :)