26/10/2018

What surprised me | Portugal

Visiting Portugal Guide Iga Berry Travel Blog UK

My travel to Portugal surprised me on so many levels. This time around I did not follow my own advice to do research before the trip as my main focus was on organising the practical side of this holiday, such as arranging accommodation. As you can imagine there were quite a few things that I did not know about Portugal, which made my experience a little bit different. Time to talk about what took my breath away!

Quite literally what took my breath away was the heat! I am very much like a cat, if there is any sunlight I will be there in a heartbeat catching a little bit of the warmth and loving life. I love hot mornings, and even hotter afternoons but over 40 degrees Celsius was a challenge even for someone who loves the heat as much as I do. Portugal's Heatwave did not take prisoners!

Another surprise was the architecture. I expected something quite different. I knew that there are buildings following late gothic style with its circular or semi-circular towers or with a variation of architectural styles such as in Castle of Beja. However, Portuguese romanticism, especially visible in Pena Palace the capital of romanticism, took me to a totally different era.

Not only the architecture styles caught my attention. Lately I find buildings fascinating so if I can go inside to check out the layout, especially when it’s irregular, I want to walk around. The amount of shut off and bordered up buildings after the financial crisis is still quite considerable and of course… I would love to go inside and do a little bit more urban exploring. Check how it used to be decorated, if there are any daily use objects left behind; get to know the building’s story. I had a perfect opportunity to have a taste of this in Lx Factory, a historical industrial complex. However, there is so much more to explore! If you are in Lisbon just have a look around for all the buildings covered with street art with walled up doors and windows.

I read about fado in a few novels but I have never had a chance to hear it. Sitting in a restaurant whilst listening to ballades in Portuguese was a very unique experience and quite frankly the voice of a female singer was insane. Though I feel that I missed out slightly on the experience by not being able to understand what the song is about.

What do you think of going away without doing any research? 
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4 comments

  1. I went to Lisbon last year and I loved it! What a beautiful city. Whenever I travel to a place with no expectations I end up having the best time. Though I may have missed out on so many things I feel like I end up enjoying a lot more. But it's always good to do a little research on where you can eat or some information about the language just in case you're lost x

    amerzwithlove.com

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    1. Hi Amita! That's so true, managing expectations is very important and quite beneficial when they are not too high at the beginning. What was the absolute highlight for you in Lisbon? x

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  2. I have never been to Portugal but both Lisbon and Porto are on my travel bucket list! It's always great when you learn a lot from your travels!

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  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! <3

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