the call to place: portugal

I dream of Portugal.  I dream of pastel de nata – the delectable Portuguese egg tart pastry; of Sopa de Beldroegas – purslane, or watercress, soup; of Sagres beer; of fresh fish and Port wine.  I dream of almond and fig ice cream, promised but elusive.

I dream of standing on the western shore of the Atlantic.  I dream of the Algarve: Silves, Alte, Tavira.  I dream of colorful fishing boats at Santa Luzia seen from the Ria Formosa boat tour and lazy days with a dear friend.

I dream of Evora: a hilltop town with a warren of winding and convoluted narrow streets.

I dream of Sintra with its its patterned pebble sidewalks, Monserrate Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, the 19th-century Romanticist Palácio Nacional da Pena.  I dream of breathtaking views from Castelo dos Mouros.

I dream of Lisbon: its Baroque churches; its Moorish arches; its red rooftops. I dream of the Rio Tejo and the Tower of Belém.  I dream of soulful and melancholy fado wafting out of shops, sounding like a lament on a breeze. I dream of colorful azulejos decorating churches, monasteries, palaces, restaurants, bars, railway and subway stations, and ordinary homes.  I dream of the graffiti-splashed streets of Bairro Alto, the cobbled streets of the charming Alfama neighborhood, Lisbon’s steep hills and trams. I dream of pastel peeling buildings and colorful laundry strung across wrought-iron balconies.

I spent nearly two weeks in southern Portugal in July of 2013.  This time around, in late October and early November, after I complete the Camino de Santiago, my husband and I will travel from Santiago de Compostela to the north of Portugal and work our way south to Sintra and Lisbon.  We’ll wander around Porto, and possibly Braga and Óbidos.

My travels the first time were solo, although I had the delightful pleasure of meeting Jo of Restless Jo in Tavira. This time we may or may not be able to meet Jo and her husband (it looks like we won’t), and we sadly won’t have time to visit the south.  I think I’ll be a bit worn out after the Camino.  This year is our 30th anniversary on November 13, although we’ll be home by then. (Mike considers it our 23rd anniversary, if you subtract our 7-year separation).  Although I’ve been to Lisbon and Sintra, Mike wants to visit too, as he’s never been, and he’s listened to my nostalgic dreams.


boats at Santa Luzia


boats at Santa Luzia


me with Jo on the Ria Formosa boat tour


tiles in Silves


me in Evora


Pastel de nata


Moorish Castle in Sintra


Pena Palace in Sintra


Pena Palace

Monserrate Palace was originally commissioned by Gerard de Visme, an English merchant holding the concession to import Brazilian teak.  Transformed in 1856 into a summer residence for the Francis Cook family, it represents 19th century eclecticism.


Monserrate Palace


Belem Tower




Colorful buildings in Lisbon


laundry in Lisbon


Baroque church in Lisbon


view of Lisbon


“THE CALL TO PLACE” INVITATION: I invite you to write a 500-700 word (or less) post on your own blog about what enticed you to choose a particular destination. If you don’t have a blog, I invite you to write in the comments.  If your destination is a place you love and keep returning to, feel free to write about that.  If you want to see the original post about the subject, you can check it out here: imaginings: the call to place.

Please include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, August 22 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Thursday, August 23, I’ll include your links in that post. If you’d like, you can use the hashtag #wanderessence.

My next post will be about my upcoming trip to walk the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.

This will be an ongoing invitation, on the fourth Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!

the ~ wander.essence ~ community

I invite you all to settle in and read a few posts from our wandering community.  I promise, you’ll be inspired.

Thanks to all of you who wrote posts about “the call to place.” 🙂