A Place To Live

We spent about two weeks in Portugal, not a long time, but we’ve visited before. We went to see if the spark was still there and it was. Portugal has people, art, history, culture, and food. Portugal is completely missing an active and diverse music scene, and that’s disappointing. And we lucked out on the weather, with no rain, which we know isn’t the way it’s going to be. But everything else was compelling and we will live here someday, soon.

Portugal has amazing art, in museums and on the street.

Faro

Portugal has beautiful buildings dating back many hundreds of years.

Lisbon

Portugal has terrific open spaces for people to work, chat, and eat.

Porto

And Portugal has Boom Balls, which I never got to try.

Boom Balls

Day Trip to Braga

Another short hop from Porto in a different direction took us to Braga. There’s quite a bit of religion in Braga, with a huge church at the entrance to the old quarter. The old quarter is easy to wander around, with plenty of small streets to get lost on.

Braga

I really don’t understand Catholicism, even after numerous trips to countries where it has been the dominant religion for centuries and centuries. For example, what’s up with all the pain imagery?

Braga

There is street music in Portugal, not as much as in France or even England. A virtuosic violinist (I have no idea if he was a virtuoso but those two words go together so well) wearing a cape and leggings was playing on one street.

Braga

And just before leaving we found a fountain (OK, another game with words) that had a rainbow. We enjoyed Braga and hope to return during the religious festivals that are unique to the area.

Braga

Aveiro – Portugal’s Venice

A one hour train ride from Porto, Aveiro is often called the Venice of Portugal because of its canals. Originally built for commerce, the canals are now traversed by a multitude of colorful gondolas catering to tourists. The boat ride is fun, but exploring the city is more fun. Parts of it have that abandoned feeling, odd because it is a rather well-off small city; these neighborhoods were fun to walk and to photograph.

Aveiro

One interesting building had an external stucco staircase that had been shorn off, leaving just the pattern of its path on the wall as if it had been painted on.

Aveiro

And, of course, there’s religion.

Aveiro

And, of course, the contrast of old and new. There are quite a few tile murals in Aveiro.

Aveiro