Carolina from Wissembourg visits her home country: Portugal

My partner and I were in the northwest of Portugal for a week. We love Gerês, (National Park Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês) the only protected area in Portugal. After landing in Porto and collecting a car for our trip. It was a bit stressful at the beginning: check-in, finding a parking space and we were tired and hungry. At long last, we had a table in our favourite restaurant and ate the many typical snacks (“Petiscos”) and of course, drank green wine.

The next day we drove to Óbidos, a very beautiful and historical area. Unfortunately, the atmosphere was unusual. Normally everything is very crowded in July, but this time, it was not the case. There were few people, and everyone was wearing masks and they looked sad and depressed. Afterwards, we visited the Buddha Eden Garden which is only 10 minutes away. It was beautiful. Many people (without masks), active, happy. The energy in this garden was very positive. It is the largest Far Eastern garden in Europe, with an area of about 35 ha. It was very warm and beautiful.

We returned to Porto with a stop in Nazaré to go for a walk and of course for dinner. The atmosphere was great. People were swimming, surfing, walking, singing, dancing, eating, drinking, laughing. It was good to see that despite Corona, it wasn’t depressing everywhere. We bought good flip-flops from Ipanema (Brazil), ate ice cream, drank beer and wine and ate grilled fish. It was very fresh, tasty and cheap. Almost all the restaurants in Nazaré are great!

The next day we finally drove towards Gerês. It is only 1.5 hours away. We stopped in Braga to have a drink with a friend. Afterwards, we drove on and came to our small granite house, which we had rented. It is the second time we rented this house. 

This place has only 61 people. There is only nature, waterfalls, animals, peace, good food and lots of sun. It was beautiful. You can walk a lot. Unfortunately, we did not hike much, because the temperatures were constantly above 35°. Instead, we often swam in waterfalls and lagoons and relaxed in the garden. The temperatures climbed up to 40° and there were many forest fires. Unfortunately, this happens every summer, which is very bad.

Our last day we spent in Aveiro, which is about 40 minutes from Porto. There it was even warmer. The city is also called the “Venice of Portugal”. We strolled through the city, cooled down on the beach and had a delicious lunch before we flew back to Germany.

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