Epidemiologists warned us that a second wave of COVID-19 would appear in the autumn, and it has here in Portugal. The case numbers began to grow at the beginning of September and have steadily risen from there. The last two days we've seen 2K in new cases reported daily and the government has instituted a state of calamity, which is an emergency declaration. 1K of those cases are here in Northern Portugal.
Since travel is not necessarily an option for many nowadays, here's a video of Porto to give you a sense of the city. Our first apartment was close to the gardens shown here.
We’ve had a few folks ask us how we’re coping during the pandemic so here goes. Also, we’re starting to sketch out some travel plans within the country. Let’s look at both.
Past blogs have dealt with how to establish utilities in Portugal. Inevitably, you’ll need to read those meters so this post explains how, and why, it is best you report those readings yourself.
Good old U.S. greenbacks are great for such vacation spots as the Bahamas and Panama, but a move to Europe means there’s currency exchanges in your future. Doubly so if you’re going to be sending over funds to buy a house, a business, or rent an apartment. This post takes a look at what that involves.
As with most European countries, Portugal is slowly and cautiously edging out of lockdown. We've gone from a State of Emergency to a Calamity (actually one step down) while resuming some of the activities of everyday life. So what has it been like? Let's take a look at how this country of 10.3 million souls has coped during this pandemic.
Our plans to post about the trip to Tomar and our time in Lisbon at the Embassy have been set aside by the pandemic caused by Covid-19. Like other European countries, Portugal is on the front lines. Rather than discussing the disease, we'd like to talk about how our new home is handling this crisis.
We're off to Tomar for a few days to check out this remarkable city, home of the Knights Templar (Ordem dos Templários). They were a much revered Order (at least by Christians) who participated in the Crusades and guarded pilgrims on their way to/from Jerusalem. Then they fell from grace, the leaders were tortured and executed. Wikipedia has more on why that happened. (Hint: it had to do with someone who owed them money.)
"The Portuguese king, Denis I, refused to pursue and persecute the former knights, as had occurred in all other sovereign states under the influence of the Catholic Church. Under his protection, Templar organizations simply changed their name, from "Knights Templar" to the reconstituted Order of Christ and also a parallel Supreme Order of Christ of the Holy See; both are considered successors to the Knights Templar." (Wikipedia)
We'll be sure to post photos of Tomar this week on our Facebook page and then I'll do a full post down the line.
The old adage “hope for the best and plan for the worst” has served us very well during and after our move to Portugal. Now that we are residents and own personal property here, we needed to direct how those assets will be handled in the event of our deaths. This post covers that process in Portugal and also includes some information about U.S. Wills for ex-pats.
One of the questions we’re frequently asked is just how good is the healthcare in Portugal. An earlier post covered Harold’s time in the emergency room of one of Porto’s big public hospitals, and this one is about my experience in a private hospital. Let's find out how that went.
Harold is a former software engineer. Jana is an author. Together they're exploring their new life in Portugal.