Our 32 day cruise began in Lisbon, Portugal. The Portuguese say Lisboa. Our cruise itinerary seemed to include every place that ended in “…land.” That would include England, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, many islands and finally Newfoundland. We accomplished our main goal. Get out of the August heat of Idaho. Greenland may have been my favorite.
Many towns do what they can to lure the tourist dollars. For Aveiro, Portugal the draw is brightly colored boats that will take tourists for rides up and down their many canals and past colorful homes. My goal was to take photos of the commercial fishermen fleet of vessels in a harbor with their brightly colored boats.
The umbrella festival of Agueda, Portugal was a destination for me ever since I saw a photo of these umbrella lined streets three years ago on the Internet. Marketed as a music and concert destination for younger kids, the town gets crowded with tourists during the month of July.
Porto, Portugal was built along the Douro River in northern Portugal. This view is of the oldest section, Riberia, which is largely dedicated to the port wine and tourist industry. The bright yellow billboard near the center of this photograph is the Sandeman trademark of one of these wines.
Anyone who has visited Lisbon, or as the Portuguese say, Lisboa would likely recognize this photo as typical Portuguese. Trolley-car wires, stately bright yellow buildings with elaborate architectural designs and narrow balconies. Yellow is often the color of choice for the Portuguese.
We do not do an extensive amount of research regarding the places we visit. Lisbon, or Lisboa, was on our list of places to visit, so off we went, arriving June 13. As luck would have it, this was the second day of the biggest annual celebration in Lisbon, the Feast of St. Anthony, the patron saint of Lisbon, AKA The Sardine Festival. Our cab driver was very excited about the evening events and all the balconies were brightly decorated.
The Portuguese Island of Funchal is 600 miles from the mainland but is a great introduction to European life when cruising to Europe. Each time we have visited here we enjoyed it so much we contemplated renting an apartment for a while.
We are now in the final stages of preparation for our 2016 cruise to Barcelona, Spain. We will explore Spain and Portugal for about 90 days then we will depart from Barcelona for a flight to possibly Romania or Bulgaria. We will travel in a clockwise fashion from Barcelona around Spain and Portugal. The curved line on the map is a flight and the straight lines are trains and bold lines are planned car rentals. Continue reading
Funchal on the island of Madeira, Portugal was our first stop after seven days at sea. It is our favorite port so far. The sidewalks are not cement, rather designs made with black and white rocks, just as they were in the Portuguese city of Macau, China. Many flowers were in full bloom including tall purple trees. A lot of their culture showed through with their colorful doorways and brightly painted buildings.
One of our favorite cities so far was Funchal, on the Island of Madeira, Portugal. We made our way across the beautiful town, over the black and white stone inlaid sidewalks, listening to unique street musicians, to a an aerial tram that took us high in the mountains overlooking the city. After visiting the botanical gardens, downing a cold local brew and visiting a church, the question was how to get back down to the boat? The answer was a toboggan ride down the steep, narrow streets. Two Portuguese men pushed the toboggan off the summit and then jumped on the back of the vehicle. They would jump off and pull the toboggan over the slower sections, then hop back on for the ride. At the end they would very forcefully suggest that a tip was in order and then sell you a photograph. All in all, a great experience….