“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

Today I’ll be at the MultiCultural Festival most of the day. We are having a Peace Corps table and taking turns passing out literature and answering any questions. The event opens with a parade of flags at 9:30, and I’ll be there with the Ghanaian flag. All day long there will be performers from a variety of countries, an international cafe’ and tables selling goods from other countries. I’ve been hankering for a bit of shopping, and this may be just the time.

I have favorite countries and favorite places in other countries. Mind you, all of these do not include Ghana which is, after, all my favorite country second only to home. Today the travelog is my favorite country, Portugal.

We drove as far north as you can go without crossing into Spain. Going through some villages, I had to wait for the green light as the road fit only a single car. Oxen pulled carts were driven on the small roads, and I had to pass them with the utmost caution. The roads were so windy we could see where we’ve been from where we were. I saw Iron Age ruins and Roman ruins still in the process of being excavated. The food was wonderful, and I remember a small restaurant on Easter Sunday where I ate kid. We stayed one night in Nazaré, a fishing village. Women, widows, dressed in black sat along the side of the walk. Dinner was at a restaurant by the water, and through the huge front window we watched the ocean splash over the rocks and the reddest sun go down behind the rocks. Dinner was a whole bowl of shellfish.

In Obidos, we walked the top of the wall surrounding the small village. All of the houses in the old part of the village were white with red roofs. We wandered the narrow streets where we saw small houses covered in colorful flowers.

The town I loved the most was Miranda do Douro, in the northern most part of Portugal. From my room I could see the lights of the Spanish border station. The town reminded me of one in an western movie, one with dirt streets and small buildings close together bordering the road. In the church was a statue of the Christ Child. It has a wardrobe of different outfits, and his clothes are changed periodically. Bougainvillea covered the fronts of house and overhung the wooden fences. Everyone of them was in bloom.

I have always said I won’t visit a country twice (except, of course, for Ghana), but I might just make an exception for Portugal.


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16 Comments on ““Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.””

  1. Erin Says:

    Hi Kat,
    When you visit again, go to Faial Azores. This is where our Great-Grandfather came from and it is called “The Blue Island” because it is covered in blue hydrangeas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faial_Island I’ve added it to my “Lottery List” when I take my Genealogy tour of the world!

    • Hi Erin,
      I didn’t head that way as I wanted to go north away from where most of the people have gone, but I have heard how beautiful the Azores are. Like you, I’ll put it on my list!

  2. Bob Says:

    I am lucky that I get to travel as part of my job. I don’t always have the time to see all of the sights, but I get to work with the locals who are employed by my company.

    There are only five truly unique cities here in the US and in Canada. Most of our cities all look the same. If you were dropped into Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Atlanta or Dallas they all look the same. Drop into one of the five and you are instantly transported into a place that is culturally different and interesting. My list is New York City, New Orleans, San Francisco, Montreal and San Antonio. When I was in Richmond British Columbia I thought I had made a wrong turn and magically was transported to Bejing. Except for Montreal, the second largest French speaking city in the world, you don’t need a passport.

    • Bob,
      You are lucky that you get to travel. That would be my perfect job. I could travel the world looking for hidden places for the intrepid travelers.

      Only parts of New York City are culturally interesting to me. Much of it looks like anywhere else. I think New Orleans is a good choice but I would also include Charleston and a few other Southern cities. I love San Antonio’s historical sections, the missions and the Mexican market.

      • Bob Says:

        Of course that can be said about any big city. New York has always been a city of ethnic neighborhoods.The burbs are the same everywhere including Malls and strip shopping centers. New Orleans has the French Quarter and the Garden District, San Francisco has Fisherman’s Warf, North Beach and China Town. We are not so much a melting pot as a buffet table 🙂

      • Bob,
        I like that-a buffet table!

        This town is fighting against a Lowe’s. The place where they want to put it would make it the smallest Lowe’s of all. People don’t want the local businesses to be out in the cold!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    “The food was wonderful, and I remember a small restaurant on Easter Sunday where I ate kid.”

    I so read this the wrong way. 😀 😀 😀

    It’s a mixed day up here; sunny for a little bit and then back into the dreary clouds.
    It looks like you will have a decent day for the MultiCultural Festival. Have a lovely time and don’t break the bank with the shopping. 🙂

    • Hi Caryn,
      I don’t think I want to know how you read it!

      It is a really nice day here but like with your day, the sun pokes in and out.

      I had some wonderful food (the Thai Coconut Curry Soup was my favorite), bought a few stocking stuffers, some cardamom bread I have to force myself to stay away from as it is so delicious and had my hand done by a henna artist. It was a wonderful day!

  4. splendid Says:

    I am always so happy to read of yours and the coffee regulars experiences of traveling. I have added so many wonderful places to
    my someday list. THANK YOU ALL!

  5. olof1 Says:

    Portugal is definitely my favorite country to travel to and I would gladely go there again! But I traveled south instead. I’ve never met more polite people in my life and when they realised that I didn’t understand Portuguese (my friend spoke it without any problems) they quickly changed to English 🙂

    My favorite town is Setubal, just south of Lisbon. We were invited to a family there and I ate the best turkey I’ve ever eaten 🙂 I looked our over the Atlantic when the sun set and I remember thinking that there was nothing out there until the USA on the other side of the ocean. It wasn’t until I came home I realised that I had been looking south and not towards west as I thought 🙂 🙂 🙂

    But I’ve never really been to Britain so I must go there before I die 🙂 I don’t count the two times I landed on Heathrow or the one time at Gatwick. I don’t count the time I was there when I was one year old either. The only photo I have show me and my mother in front of a brick wall, it could be taken anywhere in the world 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Christer,
      Almost everyone traveled south which made going north such a wonderful trip. There was so much to see as we went north. I was glad for our choice.

      We stayed right on the water and watched the sunset every night. We took the tram to the top of a small mountain and could the whole of the town below us. It was lovely.

      I love England and London. It has been a while since I’ve been there which is unusual for me. I think it has to do with my traveling to Africa instead of anywhere in Europe. I think you need to visit!

  6. Birgit Says:

    Thanks for another travelog! I love to read them. I’ve never been to Portugal or Spain, but tonight I can travel in my mind with your memories and internet photos/videos 🙂

  7. Joe Penkrot Says:

    Nazare is now famous for having 100 foot high waves to surf. Many videos are on the web showing this. Here’s a good one.

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