Oh My Cod!
Gastronomy varies widely across the country, but codfish is a constant. When travelling around Portugal you'll find at leat one version of bacalhau in every single menu and we must tell you they're all delicious.
But why do you eat dry salted cod when you have so much fresh fish, you might ask. Well, it's a tradition and we love it like that.
Portugal has a very long history when it comes to fishing and during the Discoveries overseas the Portuguese learnt that dry salted cod kept its properties and resisted to the long journeys, turning into a tasty and reliable food source. It started to be consumed by the lower class, but soon its reputation grew and it became a reference in the Portuguese gastronomy. After soaking it in water to loose the excess salt, it can be cooked in countless different ways and in this post there are 12 for you to choose from.
Music Made in Portugal
Music is so present in our lives that it sometimes goes unnoticed. It becomes white noise and part of the lively background scene that is our greeting card.
Folklore music coming out of an open balcony, a taxi driver whistling and tapping his fingers to the rhythm, a small child jumping around and screaming at the top of her lungs the song she learnt at school, a young couple sharing a head phone set and listening to the same track, a mother putting her baby to sleep whilst humming an old lullaby... It is constant and contagious. It is like a chain, a good virus spreading :)
In Portugal music is present, from traditional festivities to big music festivals and below we tell you all about it.
Viana do Alentejo
We chose Viana do Alentejo as our April 2020 destination, mostly because of the horseback parade of pilgrims that takes place during this month. Apart from this curious yearly tradition there are many other reasons to venture to the heart of the Alentejo during Spring.
They're Portuguese and they're part of our style. It's impossible to wander in any Portuguese town and not be gobsmacked with the amount of beautiful tiles. They're everywhere, from floor to ceiling, and they're part of our historical and cultural heritage for over 500 years.
First things first. Guimarães is a city located in the heart of the Minho region with a long history and a lot to do and discover. It is only 45 min. driving or 1h15min. by train from Porto, which makes it a fantastic place for a short escape and also a great base to explore Minho. Below are some of the city's biggest assets.
New Year's Eve Traditions in Portugal
Portugal is a country of old customs and traditions, which are very dear to us and lived intensely specially during nostalgic periods. New Year’s Eve is definitely one of them. Below you’ll find some of the most curious facts about how the Portuguese spend this special night.
Parque Natural do Douro Internacional (PNDI) is quite a challenging name, but it's one worth keeping in mind. The natural park covers part of 4 different municipalities: Miranda do Douro, Mogadouro, Freixo de Espada à Cinta and Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo. Each area has its own highlights, but it's possible to cover the main ones in a 2-day road trip. Below we tell you about some of the main reasons to visit.
When the weather is grey and cold, there's nothing better than sitting in a warm cosy place, armed with a hot cup of coffee and a good book. We’ve dedicated this month’s second journal post to coffee shops (cafés, in Portuguese) and bookstores.
Traditional Games In Portugal
With the technology boom nowadays games are always charged, plugged and played online. Most kids play alone or with virtual buddies and don't spend enough time outside, specially in the cities.
Luckily there are many old traditional games that are part of our heritage that have been passed from one generation to another. They promote interaction, physical activity and are loads of fun! With simple things such as chalk, ropes, bags and bottle tops both kids and grown ups spend time together, socialising in a fun and healthy way.
Below are some of the most famous ones, which we've organised according to their main skill.
Madeira was born to be wild
When the Portuguese navigators got to shore in 1420 they baptised the island as Madeira (wood in Portuguese) because of the amount of plants, bushes and trees they saw. At the time Madeira was a dense wild forest, but slowly it turned into a beautiful well-tended garden that wows whoever visits, specially during Spring.
This time of the year is great to explore the archipelago and we'll show you why.