7 days in Portugal

Portugal. What do we know about Portugal? Very little. We have heard about port wine and that they have really nice beaches in the south, but that is all. However, we did not go that far south. We crossed the border in Badajoz in Spain and headed towards Évora, a medieval city in the inland. We stayed two days at a camping located outside the city and spent the evenings inside the walls of the old centre eating and drinking. After a last day by the pool we drove through the widespread landscape towards Seisembra at the coast. We arrived late and got company by two hitchhikers from France that we found along the road before we said goodnight.

The day started in the same way as always- a stop at Lidl to buy bread and a coffee. We hoped to reach Lisbon by the night but we spent to many hours at Praia do Meco and at the Albufera Lagoon. Instead we spent the night in Vila Franca de Xira, a less charming village 40 minutes outside the capital. After a rainy night we got into Lisbon and spent a few hours walking and getting lost along the labyrinth streets and alleys. Compared to Èvora Lisbon was quite expensive, but seemed to have a lot to offer, music, culture, food and of course a lot to drink.

We drove north in the late afternoon and spent the night at a guesthouse in Nazaré,After sleeping in the car for five days a big bed and a kitchen was a welcomed change and we felt asleep fast when the light went out. Before we left Nazaré the morning after we drove down to the lighthouse and  took a walk along the windy Praia do Norte- a  world famous surf beach. During the afternon we passed though one of the areas affected by the wildfires in 2017. The black trees were a stark contrast to the green grass and blue sky.

The day ended just outside Porto and without knowing it we had arrived in perfect time to the San Joao Festival, a celebretion that we in Sweden call midsummer. We had planned to see the soccer game between Sweden and Germany in Porto but when we got off the bus we realised that something else was going on. The whole centre was closed down, everywhere people were running around with plastic hammers, hitting each other and the air was thick from the smoke of barbequed sardines. We managed to see the second half of the game and spent the rest of the evening wandering the streets of Porto participating in the celebrations.

After lunch the day after we left Porto and headed north towards Spain. Today’s drive took us through a dry and mountainous landscape that was changed to lower temperatures and greener hills after we passed the boarder to Spain. Just after 18.00 we rolled into a small camping in a bay outside Arteixo. Being Sunday we met a lot of beachgoers heading back home after a day in the sun. Josch positioned himself in a nearby restaurant to watch football and I went for a walk along the beach watching the sun set.

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