Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Cascais is a lively resort all the year round, yet in summer more lively than ever. Last week, in the evening, one of its beaches that is often dotted with fishermen had turned into an atelier for two foreign sculptors who looked delighted as they were making not sand castles but Homer Simpson lying on a couch grabbing a bottle of beer in one of his hands.

As Homer looked a bit homesick, despite being free from the family piling on to the couch, he soon had two family members lying on the floor...

Why on earth, a middle class American family living in Springfield (ILL.) flies to this side of the huge Pond and lies on the fine sands of a Portuguese beach? Perhaps Homer was tired of doing nothing or very little. Had his wife and children pushed him to board on a plane and as they regretted it later, they decided to take a cheap flight with destination to Lisbon?
Questions I'll never get the answer, unless you stop by and let me know them.

~~ Thank you! ~~

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Returning to a place for a visit after having been away for a certain time is always a pleasure for me. It happened recently when I was in Chaves, an old town that is way up in the very north of Portugal right by the Spanish border. The town was  settled by the Roman emperor Flavio Vespasiano, in the year 78 AD. Acquae Flaviae was  its original name, owing to the superb thermal springs that the Romans found in its surrounding area.
Chaves is by a river that gives it a special charm with the shimmering green of the sidewalk gardens. It's not unusual at all, to see local fishermen enjoying the beauty of the river as they try to get a good catch. I love the colour of the river ... it's so peaceful!

Interesting contrast between the two pedestrian bridges that span over the river:

The Roman Bridge


the contemporary bridge

The traditional housing, mainly with four levels, has big windows and balconies as one can see at the main square, where the archaeological findings are still in place, following the first stage of works for an underground parking. Once, a Roman thermal complex existed there.

After wandering around the town, my legs asked me to have rest for a while. 

At that time of the day, my stomach would never welcome the local specialities: smoked ham, puff pastry with minced meat filling or the special bread-like filled with cubes of pork and sausage.

I know well that some day in the future, I'll drive up again to this old town, where in the quietness I can have a break from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon.

~~ Thank you! ~~

Wednesday, June 05, 2013


Lamego, a small city in the central region of Portugal, every year is the stage of a cherry festival that attracts many people from every corner of the country as well as many foreign tourists. I happened to be over there last Sunday. 

White stalls displaying red cherries dominated the scenery, while people giggled and chattered as they were eating the cherries offered by the producers whose faces showed pride of their harvests. You may ask why Lamego and not any Portuguese city. There is a reason: cherry trees, originated from Asia, suit very well the climate and the soil in the region. 

Cherries are sweet and they exhibit a very beautiful hues of red colour. The harvest is not mechanized but by hand, due to the delicate characteristics of the fruit.

I was told that the yield per tree ranges from 30 to 50 kilos (66.13  to 110.3 pounds), while the cherries are marketed in boxes containing 2 kilos (equivalent to 4.42 pounds) of this delicious fruit, at a retail price of €2.0 (equivalent to US$2.6) Other than the fresh fruit, there were cherry liqueur and jam produced by the local farmers. 

Even the fake blackbird could not resist to enjoy a cherry banquet!!!

Of course I bought a box of cherries and I can't help  indulging myself with cherries and cherries that being delicate as they are, don't keep their freshness for a long time. A good excuse to see the box getting empty, quickly.

~~ Thank you for stopping by ~~