Last month I posted a video of a young couple (and their two wee sons) doing a quick tour of Lisbon. This time they're in Sintra and moving just as fast. A short train ride west of the capital, Sintra is filled with delightful castles, picturesque streets and the ruins of a Moorish castle. Travel, Eat, Repeat shows you some of the sites in this town while also sampling their fabulous food. Just be aware -- during tourist season this city is packed with visitors.
We belong to a number of Facebook sites dedicated to people either looking into moving to Portugal, those in the process of moving, or those who have settled into the country. One such a Facebook page is Americans & FriendsPT which shared this really energetic video of two parents and two toddlers tackling Lisbon (and its yummy food choices) all in one day.
Let's be honest: Even when I was twenty-five I wouldn't have tried this. Still, these adults have got it down to a science. And so much food!!! Enjoy!
Happened to see this handy overview of what's legal here. Most of this I already knew, but I wasn't aware of the number of guns available to the general population given Portugal's low firearm-related murder rate.
We were engaged in a tremendous amount of planning leading up to our relocation to Portugal. Being an engineer by trade, I had actually prepared a GANTT chart with all the projects that were needed prior to our leaving the U.S., a process that involved a lot of reading and research to make sure that everything was checked and double-checked. We made sure to have legal assistance every step of the way.
Of course, there was an unexpected glitch: my name.
Porto has many fine historical sites and the Mercado do Bolhão is certainly one of them. It's always a treat to wander the aisles looking at the fresh fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, cheese and flowers. While the original site is being renovated--it will reopen in 2020--a temporary market has been established nearby. But there's more to Bolhão than just that goods for sale.
'For these “descendants of Bolhão,” as they call themselves, the market is home. Graça dos Santos, a fish vendor, sums up the sentiment of many: “My mother carried me in her womb in Bolhão. I was born here, I want to die here.”The traditions they uphold reach still further back.'
Can you read the full article here.
Like every city, Porto is comprised of interconnected neighborhoods, each giving the whole its own individual flavor. However Porto doesn't have that "big city feel", something that is very important to the Portuguese and to those of us having the good fortune to move here.
This article, Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Porto, courtesy of Cindy Christensen, highlights a few of our most interesting and friendly, locales.
A recent survey by Bloomberg has ranked various nations' healthcare efficiency scores and the U.S. isn't doing so hot. Currently at #54, the States' high healthcare costs aren't adding any additional years to one's lifespan.
While Portugal has issues of its own (a month-long nurses' strike is likely to begin Nov. 22nd) the cost of healthcare is not egregious. As residents, we can attest to the fact that it is considerably less expensive, especially prescription medications. Because we are not citizens, we are required to have private medical insurance, which at present is about $250 per month for both of us. That's roughly equal to Medicare Part B costs, which we do not have since we live out of the country.
As I mentioned on our Facebook page, I have mixed feelings about these lovely tiles (What Will Lisbon do About its Stunning-Yet-Dangerous Sidewalks?) which can be found in almost every city and town in Portugal. They are easy to pry up to perform road/sidewalk maintenance and are used to form the most amazing geometric patterns, but they have their downsides. When it's wet they're slick and I know when it rains not to wear one particular pair of shoes or I have zero traction.
They're also uneven and I still don't know how these ladies in heels manage to get around without screwing up an ankle. I've warned certain US friends who have mobility issues that Portugal might not be the best choice for them to visit. Certainly it's not just Portugal (most of Europe is like that) but it's not something tourists usually think about. You just don't go wandering around without paying attention to where you're putting your feet.
But they're pretty and unique. So what to do?
However practical we find this country’s public transportation, the day may come when we wish to rent a car and that requires a Portuguese driver’s license. Also, if we ever intend to drive outside out the country, we’ll need an international driver’s license and that also requires a DL from Portugal. This blog discusses the process to obtain both of these important documents.
We've just passed the "we've been here 11 months" mark and that's rather astounding, actually. In many ways we've settled in and others, not so much. So this post is going to discuss what's giving us trouble, because living in a foreign country is never like the guidebooks suggest. The big clue: it's all about The Language
Harold is a former software engineer. Jana is an author. Together they're exploring their new life in Portugal.