Portugal Travel Skills

Portugal Travel Skills


One of the longest
non-changing borders in all of Europe
is the border that separates the Spanish and the
Portuguese people. And you can see in
the far west we’ve got proud little Portugal. Don’t think Portuguese is just
Spanish with a funny accent. It’s very annoying to
Portuguese people to have Americans coming there
speaking Spanish, as if they’re speaking the
local language, okay. You need to learn
a little bit of Portuguese while
you’re in Portugal. And when we think about Spain
and Portugal, remember from Madrid or Barcelona, it’s very
easy to fly into Lisbon. I’m gonna be in Lisbon
just in a couple of weeks, and I’ve got
a ticket that cost me about $100 from Lisbon to
Barcelona. Last year I was
researching down in southern Spain,
and in Sevilla I rented a car, and within an hour
I was on the beach on the south coast of Portugal. It’s very easy to get into
Portugal from Sevilla in the south, and from
Madrid up in the north. For many of us, we’ll just
fly in and out of Lisbon, but do realize that it is
quite easy to splice it in to your experience that way.
Now we do a tour of Portugal which for 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
10, 11, or 12 days, this is what we would do. Each one of
those numbers is nights. But this, after years of doing tours in
this part of Europe, is what we think is the best 12 or so days that Portugal has
to offer. The big missing link here is the south coast. If you had another three
days you’d head down to the Algarve. But for me this is your best quick look at
Portugal, and this is essentially what we’re going to see, adding onto a visit
to the south coast, the Algarve. You can fly into Lisbon, and from Lisbon you can
go to a dusty sort of “Wild West” capitol of Alentejo, called Evora, and
then you head up here to a very interesting cluster of
sites north of Lisbon, where you’ve got
Nazaré which is the beach town full of fishermen, famous for
its wild surf by the way, and from there you can side-trip to the touristic
little Rothenburg ob der Tauber of Portugal kind of, Óbidos. Alcobaça
with the famous abbey, Batalha with another famous church, and Fatima, which is a
pilgrimage center because there is a appa–what do you call–an apparition when
the people saw the Virgin Mary talking to them, and so on, and
for 100 years people been converging on
Fatima because it’s a pilgrimage center. Coimbra, two hours
north of Lisbon, is the Oxford or the Cambridge of Portugal. For a while it was
even the capital, when the Moors were controlling Lisbon
still, but today Coimbra is a charming town with a great university heritage,
and I absolutely love Coimbra. And if you want the rustic, rugged,
Industrial Age, workhorse, second city of Portugal, you got to go up to
hardscrabble Porto. And Porto is a beautiful city in its own right, and it
is at the mouth of the Douro River, and that’s where they make all the port wine.
So there you have the heartland of Portugal and that’s what we’re
going to be talking about now. Lisbon in its day was a capital of a
vast Portuguese empire. Vasco da Gama, Magellan, the great Portuguese explorers
planted the Portuguese flag. There was a time when the Spanish and the Portuguese
kings decided, “okay we’re gonna split the world, that part’s Portuguese, this part’s
Spanish. Look at South America. Part of it’s Portuguese-speaking, the rest of it’s
Spanish-speaking, all figured out in the royal palaces in Iberia. Well Lisbon was
very, very powerful, but then its Empire dived. It had her–to–terrible
earthquake in 1755, and in the last couple of generations it’s been one of the
poorest capitals in Europe. Portugal has a big struggle with its economic
situation today, huge debt and so on, and I wouldn’t want to be a worker hoping
for retirement in southern–in Portugal, but if your tourist you will hardly know
it. And Brazil is booming these days, and Portugal’s tourism industry is really
stoked by a lot of people coming in from Brazil, where they speak Portuguese. So
you’ve got this interesting cultural and historic mix in Lisbon. I want to remind
you, 1755, that’s the pivotal date, that’s when the earthquake leveled the city. I
mean there’s never been an earthquake, that I can think of, that devastated a
region in a city as much as the 1755 earthquake in Lisbon, and everything you
see has been built up since. Built up in industrial efficiency, by an industrial
kind of military efficiency, with a military dictator, the Marquis de Pombal,
and he just built it with straight lines. Everything had to be straight,
everything had to be prefab, everything had to be uniform.
Yeah, you can have a church, but it’s going to look
like every other building, and you can maybe stick
cross on top of it, okay. It’s that kind of thing.
And when you look at Lisbon today, you’ll
walk through and it just feels like it was built after an
earthquake 200 years ago on a budget, alright. You’ve got nice squares, many
of them used to have great abbeys and so they were destroyed by the earthquake.
A popular sort of theme is putting this black and white pattern into the
pavement, and you’ll find that as a low-key kind of version of the artistic style of
the city. Here you can almost see a feeling for
the sea, and the wealth of Portugal came from the sea, and you’ll
see that wonderful pattern in the sidewalks and on the squares all over
Lisbon. I really enjoy going to Lisbon and I enjoy traveling through Lisbon,
remembering from where it came. Here we have a great church right in the center
of Lisbon, and you can see the walls still stand from the earthquake, but the
rest of it, the roof, has all been rebuilt. There’s lots of ways you can see
remnants and reminders of that terrible earthquake as the city has
built up around it. The city is famous for its tiles, and a
lot of the historic tiles will show the city before the earthquake. Lisbon has
three zones. You’ve got the the lower city, you’ve got the high city, and you’ve
got the Alfama. The lower city is the checkerboard plan where
most of the hotels are, and lots of shops
and restaurants, and you can get
around the trolleys. The high city is–sort of
it feels–I don’t know, its got your “Rice-A-Roni”
kind of trolley action going on, it’s got
beautiful parks, it’s got more characteristic cafes,
and this kind of thing, it’s kind of trendy.
And then the Alfama is the old fisherman’s quarter that
goes way back to Visigothic times, and we’ll look at all those now. This
is the main drag right through the Lower City, and over
the ages different times have left their step.
During the late 1800s you’d have this
Eiffel Tower kind of thing going on all over Europe, and you’ll find this big
elevator, built by a student of Eiffel, in a sense that really recalls the
Eiffel Tower. It’s a little bit of a confusing story
with all these different cultures and this fascinating history, and there are
an abundance of very good local guides in Lisbon, so I highly recommend tapping
into some of the tours. You can either hire a private guide or you can join
existing tours. The existing tours are really cool, they just schedule them with
different themes all day long, you can find out about it on the internet, I
list ’em in my guidebook with great enthusiasm, I just think it’s time and
money very well spent to be with eight or ten tourists with one passionate
local guide, and wander through the streets of whatever quarter you may be in, and learn about what you’re
looking at. There’s different train stations that are decorated beautifully.
This is the Rossio train station, and you can see there a little bit of the
Moorish influence, but probably done in a much later time in a neo-Moorish style, a
reminder that the Moors ruled Portugal just like they ruled Spain for
centuries. Remember the Moors came in from Africa,
the Muslim Moors in 711, they quickly took over Spain and Portugal, and
they pushed even into France, and then for centuries Europe was doing that
Reconquista, a little bit bigger deal from a tourism point of view in Spain
than Portugal, but you will still see reminders of the Moorish ages as you
travel through Portugal, we’ll talk about that in the next few minutes. I mentioned
Rice-A-Roni. When you’re in Portugal you got the most enjoyable rickety old trams,
the trolley system, you can imagine. In my guidebook I’ve actually identified
certain tramlines as fun do-it-yourself tours. For the price of a trolley ticket,
just a couple dollars, I give a narration and you can just look out the window and
enjoy the world go by. Very, very characteristic, and part of the fun is just
the locals that come on and trundle off with their big bags of shopping, and
their children, and their dogs, and so on. I remind you, these trolleys are very
tight squeezes, and if you’re–seriously if you’re just casually hanging your arm
out the window you could lose it, they goes so close to passing cars and
buildings, you gotta be careful not to be
distracted. In Spain you got that wonderful tapa culture, you do not have
that in Portugal. They don’t eat so late in Portugal, they’ve got wonderful bars
but you need to have a different set of communication skills to enjoy the bars
in Portugal, compared to in Spain. You won’t have that impetus to eat in an
alternative to a restaurant Portugal, because you don’t want to 10pm like they
do in Spain. You can eat at 7 or 8 in a restaurant in Portugal and not feel
like you’re going against the grain. Still, if you know a few of the keywords
and what to order, you can belly up to the bar and eat very characteristic food
very cheaply with the local workers. All over Portugal you’ve got fun
opportunities to enjoy the local wine and the local produce. One of my
favorite places to go is the Alfama. This is the Alfama here, and it’s just a tangle
of pedestrian lanes, it’s too small for cars, and you wander through here and
you get a little glimpse into people’s, you know, rustic lives. There’s colorful markets
here, it’s–things have all changed in the
last generation so it’s not quite as good as it used to be, but
still I love exploring the Alfama. In the Alfama you will have the fado. One
of my favorite traditional folk music scenes in Europe is in Portugal. It’s
called the fado. It’s sort of fishermen’s widow’s blues, okay. There’s an old lady, she’s been alone
now for 20 years, and her husband sailed away and he never came back, and there’s
still salt caked-on her cheeks because she’s been crying for a decade,
and she just things about that. And it’s a free performance in a lot of
restaurants, or you can pay a little extra supplement, and it just–you can
find out from your tourist information where you want to see the fado, but I
highly recommend enjoying a nice dinner, some nice local wine, and a fado
performance. If you’re interested in fado, at the base of the Alfama there is
a museum for fado, and it’s fascinating if you’re into blues, and
music, and folk culture. There was a tycoon
named Gulbenkian. He’s an Armenian, and he needed re–a safe
refuge during WWII because he was going to be–his life was threatened.
And Portugal gave him refuge in WWII, and Gulbenkian gave his entire
artistic estate to the state of Portugal. Today, the Gulbenkian Museum is one of
the most delightful museums in all of Europe. It’s a little bit of a esoteric mix
of art and culture throughout the centuries, throughout the the world, but
when you’re in Lisbon, if you want to see one museum for art, I highly recommend
the Gulbenkian Museum, especially they’ve got some fascinating Art Nouveau–a
jewelry section, a guy named Lalique, well worth checking out. I really enjoy the Golden Age of
Portugal. Back in the 15th century when Vasco de Gama and Magellan were making
it the most powerful and rich country around, and you’ve got a lot of
architecture, and a lot of lore from those days. There was a king named Manuel
who was in charge during those days, and the riches that came from the explorers
funded the culture, and you have a whole architectural style named after that
king, Manueline architecture. When you come through Lisbon, you’ll find the
grandest buildings from the Golden Age around 500 years ago are going to be
Manueline style architecture. The marquee shot is this, the tower, the Belem Tower.
There’s a suburb outside of Lisbon called Belem, B-E-L-E-M, and this is the
tower that was sort of the last thing the explorers saw when they sailed away, and
the first thing they saw when they came back after a long voyage, laden, just
laden with with riches from the–from the discoveries they had made, and all sorts
of venereal diseases. And when you can go to this Belem
Tower now, you can wander through that and it’s just evocative from that old,
amazing day when these guys sailed away into the unknown,
when people thought, you know, they’d fall off the
edge of the world or whatever, and they didn’t really have a
sense of the New World, and so on. And this is called Monument to the
Discoveries here, and you got Prince Henry the Navigator, he was the great guy who
funded all of this and pushed it, and then you got all the characters that
were part of this age of discovery. This is a huge monument, it’s right next to
the Belem Tower, and it is well worth checking out, and you can see the heroes
of Portuguese society. Across the street, you’ve got the Manueline monastery, and
it’s called Jerónimos Monastery, and this is the last place the sailors would
worship before they set out. This is where the King lived when he was all–
later on when they were all nervous about what is earthquake-proof, all the stone
buildings are falling down in Lisbon, they moved out here,
and they had a more earthquake-stable table buildings.
When you go to the Manueline architecture at the
Jerónimos monastery, you’ll find my favorite cloisters in all of Europe,
right there in the monastery at Belem, and that’s well worth checking out. And
to give you a little inkling about how fancy and impressive
the royal family was, they have a royal coach museum out
there, which is one of the best coach museums
you could see in Europe. And that was a big deal
for kings all over Europe, to have a good, stable,
fancy coaches. Lisbon is famous for
a lot of things, and one thing that might
surprise you–it’s got the best youth hostels in the world.
People who run youth hostels go to Lisbon just to stay in the best youth
hostels. They’re open to people of any age, and you might want to look into that
when you’re traveling, thinking of going to Lisbon. It’s a
wonderful ambiance where people kind of
hangout, it’s more of a communal lifestyle for travelers,
and it’s worth looking into. Spain is most famous
for its bullfights, but Portugal has some
impressive bullfight sort of heritage. And in a Portuguese
bullfight, you won’t see them as much as in Spain, but if you’re on the ball
and one’s happening you might want to know about it, it’s different, they don’t
kill the bull. First of all they have an equestrian duel with the bull, and then
they have this thing where these eight guys get out and they line up, and the
lead matador slaps thighs, and he goes, “toro, toro,” and the bull charges him. And
the bull plunges into the matador, and the bull’s horns are wrapped, so the guy
doesn’t get gored, he just gets mashed, and he’s hanging onto
the bull, and then all the other guys get
caught up in the bull. It’s like the sound of a
skipping rock, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, as the
bull picks up all these matadors. And they’re hanging onto the
bull, and the goal, as far as I can tell, is to stop the bull from moving, and then
one matador grabs the tail of the bull and kind of water skis behind the bull,
holding his tail. And when they do that, its victory, and if they don’t do it
and the bull breaks free, they gotta line up again, and the same
guy, who’s now all messed up and bloody, goes to the middle and goes, “toro, toro,”
and here comes the bus. That bull hits him like a train, and
boom, boom, boom, boom, they grab on, and it is
really a rugged game, you can see there’s injuries. But this
guy’s water–water skiing behind the bull here on the left, his friends are holding
his head, they’re going to jump off in a minute and he’ll be all alone behind
the bull, meanwhile this guy’s hobbling around in
the middle, and over on the right they’re dragging a guy away on a stretcher, and
generally outside of the arena–oh there’s the–that’s the final victory right
there, and and I just–just–to me, if you were
ever a mother or father and you didn’t want your kid to do something, you wouldn’t
want him to be a Portuguese matador, it’s just–it’s brutal. And there’s always an
ambulance parked right outside. So that’s a Portuguese bullfight, a little bit
different than a Spanish Bullfight. Outside of Lisbon, just an hour or two away, is a
place called Sintra. And Sintra has a very interesting world heritage. It’s got a
beautiful palace in the town itself, and this is very easy access, it’s sort of the
rich people’s retreat from Lisbon. And it’s got beautiful parks, beautiful
palaces, beautiful strolling ambiance, and on the hill above is an old medieval
wall and a medieval fortress that goes back to Moorish times, and a quirky
Neuschwanstein, Mad Ludwig kind of place called the Pena Palace. And actually, the
cousin of Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria was the guy who built and lived in this
palace. And he lived there like one of these, you know, rich, out-of-touch kings,
until things went sour and he had to flee. And he fled in the year 1910, and today
when you tour the Pena Palace it’s like he was there yesterday. It’s an amazing thing from this
Portuguese Mad King Ludwig story, and you can check that out at the Pena Palace.
Then after that you can walk, literally, from the Pena Palace over to the
Moorish castle. And this harkens back to the Reconquista, when
the Christians and Moors were fighting it
out, and there’s this amazing castle that’s completely ruined,
and you can just race the ramparts, letting your imagination go wild. When we
go out to the far west tip of Portugal we find Cabo da Roca. That’s the west
tip of Europe. When we go north from Lisbon we find Óbidos, and it’s just a
little storybook town, perfectly preserved, and I think it’s very, very
touristy, but it’s fun to visit briefly, and you can walk along the walls which
is quite nice, but the place I like to stop is Nazaré. In the old days, this was
littered with be–the boats of fishermen, today they’ve been cleaned out
and put in a modern port, and today it’s the domain of vacationers. Nazaré is a
beautiful place to go to just enjoy the beach scene. I love it as a break from the
big city. Nice beach, great food, colorful people.
And if you go to YouTube, check it out, Nazaré, it’s the place with the biggest
waves on earth, with these incredible surfing stunts going on there. But I just
find Nazaré is a delight. In small towns like
Nazaré you’ll have women who are just renting out their rooms, waiting for the
cars that come in, with a sign that says, in four different languages, “rooms
torment.” So you might follow her, shes- -what she’s trying to do is actually
intercept people who are going to hotels who have reservations, and she’ll tell
you, “my place is half the price and much better,” and she tries to take you there. Honor your hotel
reservations, but if you are driving around Portugal
you’ll find a lot of people renting rooms that can be a
very good value. The fishermen, the fisher families, they fillet
their fish and let them dry in the sun, and it’s quite a cool scene. Nearby you’ve
got Alcobaça, which is a famous abbey which has like a thirteenth-century
Romeo and Juliet story. A Prince Pedro and Ines, wonderful story, they’re
buried right there, and all the local kids will go there to remember the local
Romeo and Juliet. Beautiful, colorful, market scenes. Nearby is Batalha, a
fourteenth-century abbey that was built to celebrate–Batalha means battle–a great
battle against the Spaniards, reminding us that Spain and Portugal have had a
difficult past, and Portugal has fought really hard and well to maintained its
independence. And back in 1917, during all the slaughter of WWI, Mary–Virgin Mary
apparently appeared to a bunch of little kids–farm kids in this
place called Fatima, and they had these messages from Mary. And every month they’d
go, and Mary would come to the clouds and say things, and for some reason
hundreds of people gathered and everybody had the same story, and
it kind of made sense what she was saying, and
people believe this. And now, for the last 100 years, every
13th of the month from, I think, April to October, thousands of people
gather here at Fatima to remember this. And you can go there anytime of the year
and find pilgrims there, you know, going to the church on their knees and so on,
but if you happen to hit on the 13th or the eve of the 13th, you are in for a
huge spectacle, and it is quite an amazing–Fatima, one of the great
pilgrimage sites in all of Europe. Two hours north of Lisbon you get Coimbra.
I mentioned this is the university town of Portugal, the historic capital of
Portugal, I absolutely love Coimbra for a place just to connect with Portuguese
culture, and you have that vitality brought to it because it is a university
town. If you’re there during graduation time, everybody’s got their robes, they’re
tossing their mortarboards up in the sky, they’re celebrating.
If you wander around the town you’ll
find the fraternity districts and the sorority districts
where you’ve got this sort of a, you know, edgy college kind of vibe, and it’s fun
to check out that. And in the university, you can tour it, there’s historic halls,
an amazing library to check out. My favorite thing about Coimbra is just to be
there, especially in the evening, wandering around enjoying the local
fado, and enjoying the great food. Only in Coimbra do you have men singing the
fado. Everywhere else it’s women singing, but in Coimbra you’ve got these
troubadour bands of men, and they entertain at the restaurants, and if you
have the Rick Steves Portugal guidebook you will know exactly what you have in
store there. Further north is Porto, and Porto is the rough
second city of Portugal. I’m really into
second cities lately, you know, the Antwerps, the Glasgows,
the Hamburgs, the Marseilles, the Genoa, and in Portugal,
it would be Porto. If you want the
reality, if you want hardscrabble Portugal, if you want not
to have a lot of tourist crowds, check out Porto. I just–it’s just a great city
to be in, not earth-shaking sites, but beautiful tile covered churches. The train
station has all these historic tiles that the Portuguese are so into, bookstores
will have fancy Art Nouveau staircases. And down on the harbourfront, across the
way, you’ve got a little place called Gaia, and this is where the lodges are.
There’s 17 different Port lodges and these will in–will welcome you to come
in and see how the Port is made. Of course Porto is where Port comes from.
And you cross the bridge from Porto to the little suburb famous for its port
lodges, and you can visit any of them, they’re all just 100 yards apart from
each other, and you can sample the Port, you can tour the facilities, and it is
quite a beautiful experience. It’s just a elegant part of Portuguese culture. If
you want to take that one step further, go inland from there up the Douro Valley.
And the Douro Valley is famous for its vineyards. And every–all the
conditions are just right for making these grapes that make the Port wine. And
you can visit Quintas, these are the names of the farms up there that have the
vineyards. And the Quintas make ends meet by renting out rooms to tourists and
wine aficionados, and you’re welcome to visit, whether you’re sleeping there or
not, and sample the wine, and gain an appreciation for this slice of
Portuguese culture. Evora is the main city, the capital of the
back–sort of a dusty, conservative, lost in time region called Alentejo. There’s
lots of insulting jokes in Portuguese about the Alentejo people. If you want
to start up a conversation, ask the people down there about these
jokes. You’ve got a Roman temple right there in Evora, you’ve got beautiful backstreets, you’ve
got just cobblers doing their thing, you’ve got a bone chapel filled with
human bones, and most importantly you’ve got a chance to just enjoy a ramshackle
run-of-the–work-a-day town in the countryside of Portugal, Evora. Portugal used to have no freeways at all,
now there are plenty of freeways as it’s part of the EU and in the European Union.
The poor countries are net receivers, they get more out than they put in, and
Germany wants everybody have good roads so they can have, you know, a good free
trade system to compete with United States, just like we have our interstate
system here, and Portugal will have German- quality roads these days, well worth
checking out. As you drive, you’ll see lots of cork groves. And the
cork trees make the–or the oak trees, I guess,
make–that’s where they get the traditional corks from, and that’s
important for the local wine industry. The far south coast of Portugal is the
Algarve. The Costa Del Sol is the touristic, you know, sunburn traffic jam on
the south coast of Spain, which I’m not that enthusiastic about. I love the south
coast of Portugal. It’s no longer undiscovered and there are touristy areas.
Lagos, just a beautiful town, I was just there last year working on the guidebook,
and we’ve got a good coverage of the entire Algarve. Lagos is full of the
people that come from all over Portugal and the rest of Europe to enjoy the
beach and the sun, but I would recommend a little town called
Salema, S-A-L-E-M-A. This is my favorite town
on the Algarve, I’ve been going there
ever since I was a kid. We used to take our
groups there back in the 70s when I had no reservations, we’d
just come there, park the minibus and look for private homes and the B&Bs.
Back then, every morning, the market would come in on the back of
trucks, a little tailgate market scene, you know, and that happens to this
day. Now, in the last couple of decades, they’ve spiffed up, they built up a
concrete promenade here, the restaurants are a little more
elegant, there’s a couple of restaurants, but
the place is still a sleepy little end of Europe beach
resort, and I really can’t get enough of Salema. If you’re looking for your little
place to have a vacation from your vacation in the south of Portugal, use
the Rick Steves guidebook to Portugal, I’ve got a lot of friends
that run great little restaurants, and hotels,
and pensiones there, this is my favorite place called Pension
Mare, I was just there a couple months ago, and you’ll have the best bit of Portugal.
Remember there’s a word called “percebes,” that’s the local word in
Galicia, in the northwest of Spain, and Portugal for barnacles. Barnacles are a
delight. I don’t normally order top on the menu when it comes to a restaurant
just because things can be pricey, but the barnacles are worth checking out.
And in Portugal they’re proud of their barnacles, they go great with the local
beer. Near Salema on the other side of the coast, the rough west coast, there are
some desolate beaches you might want to find on your own. The far southwest
tip of Europe and the far southwest tip of Portugal is called
Cape Sagres. And Cape Sagres is the
“Land’s End” of Europe, it’s where Henry the
Navigator had his school. Where he would train
his sailors to go out–his explorers to go out and stick
the Portuguese flag all over the world, and broaden the Empire for
Portugal, and this is where he would interview people when they came back
from their voyages, when they washed up ashore after these scary adventures. A
lot of museums, a lot of lore, a lot of memories of the days
of Prince Henry the Navigator, when Portugal was the leader in exploring the world from Europe. Today
you find fishermen on that rocky prominent–promontory, casting off to 100
yards below where they’re–where they catch their fish. And they actually
catch a lot of fish, and by the time they get ’em up to the top they don’t even need to kill the fish,
the fish were dead for a long time. It is an amazing, windy, desolate,
far corner of Europe, it’s way down in the south, the Algarve. So I hope that gives
you a good sense of Portugal, and I want to remind you, when
you get as far as Spain, please give Portugal a
serious look, okay. Thank you very much, and happy
travels. Thank you.

24 thoughts on “Portugal Travel Skills

  1. Its Douro, not Duoro 🙂 The city where wine is produced is Vila Nova de Gaia in the opposite side of the river , where cellars are settled . 
    In the south, on a next visit , you must go to Portinho da Arrabida (south of Lisbon), Setubal , you will find there in Arrabida mountain a small paradise, amazing food and exotic beaches 😉 And visit the south coast from there until Algarve, you will love the experience, very similar to Californian way of life, lots of beaches, surf, relax, great grilled fish..Thanks for you video!!! 😉 

  2. Why you should purchase a Rick Steve tour book: 11:40 
    "Laden, just laden with all the riches from their discoveries…and venereal diseases!"

  3. Fado is not just how Mr. Steves describes it. Many fados are about lost love but fado speaks of other things. It is not about old ladies dressed in black crying for their husbands who left on boats. To understand the words you have to know Portuguese but to appreciate Fado and feel the emotions it evokes in you, you just need to be in touch with your heart and your soul.

  4. he got one thing wrong… there are actually many men (though most are women) singing Lisbon's Fado, not only Coimbra's Fado.

  5. This is a very narrow vision of the country..this is a little dumm…he resumes Portugal to wine, cork, beach, fado and two or three citys …no north, no Minho, Tras-os montes Beiras, the mountains the interior of the countrys wich is the real soul of the nation..he just talks of the same old Lisboa and the touristic booring Algarve , some stupiied little town nazare wich is has nothing to see just a beach wich is the same view you have any where else in the world of the sea(i really dont undrestand the intrest in this place..waves??common!)and Fatima?? there is a modern church to pray(if your catholic and care about that stuff) nothing more to see……well my country is a lot more then this sorry this is just tooo commonplaces and a little prejudiced about Portugal in some images..

  6. AT 13;13 the video shows the old carriages or stagecoaches the first time that rick steves walked inside a harpsichord was playing a piece of baroque music, do you know the name of the composer and the name of the piece ??

  7. On medieval times, Portugal has been in war against Spain. Afonso I seized the castle of Badajoz, falls in the stairs, broken a leg, was capture by the spanish. His ransom was all the territories along river Minho at north, (includes all Gallicia) and a payment in gold.
    Today Portugal territory is shorter because of that.
    Its just a tale in History, not very well confirmed !

  8. Were you in time constraint? You talked too fast here. I understand your English perfectly but the speed of your speech makes me nervous.

  9. Great video Rick. Your pronunciation of the Portuguese towns and other words was terrible man. Please consult someone that can help you pronounce these words properly. For example GERONIMOS is not pronounced HERONIMOS. That's the Spanish pronunciation. In Portuguese the G, and J are pronounced the same as in English. Hope this helps.

  10. I'm Brazilian and I love to spend my holidays in Portugal. I've been in Portugal three times. It's a lovely country.

  11. I don't think we should give Rick Steves a hard time because of his pronunciation. He doesn't speak Portuguese and this is not a lesson in Portuguese – it's a quick guide to Portugal constrained by time.
    He does however give a somewhat misleading idea of the history of my country. It's excusable given that he doesn't have much time and he is speaking to people who have no idea what the country is like. He condenses lots of information but the beauty of it is in the details and the details are necessarily overlooked. Pity.
    In my opinion, the interesting things in Portugal are the little things – little historical villages like Marvao and Monsanto – the southwest coast, Tomar and it's Knights Templar convent, Gerês Mountains. Etc. I'm sure if you take the tour it will be good, but don't think for a moment that you have done more than scratch the surface. You have to eat the food and the dust before it invigorates you and renews you from the inside.

  12. As always, Rick treats conservative people with disdain at 22:13. Typical intolerant liberal looking down their nose at people with different perspectives.

  13. I was surprised when visiting Portugal. The country is so overlooked by its neighbors and I decided to check out Portugal and was amazed on how great the food is, how affordable it is and how nice the locals are. I was never afraid waking through Lisbon or driving through the coastline because there was a surprise in every corner of the cities and towns in this country! Obrigado Portugal!

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