Port tasting, beaches and crowds!
Trip Start May 11, 2005
320Trip End Ongoing
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So since we are so behind on the travelpod and every day we forget more, this is one way of doing it all in one go. So yes this will be a long entry...(Chelise here. If you don't like reading these at least read the Fatima one. I think it is funny)
Portugal in general is just like the rest of Europe. It is, though, a bit on the boring side: churches, churches, churches and the occasional beach. Actually many beaches that were jammed packed. So I personally think the pictures are boring but I will chalk them up to informational. Oh yeah and even though Portugal is suppose to be cheap it's not.
Porto - This town in the North of Portugal is famous for Port (go figure)
Figura de Foz - We went to this beach becasue we heard the beach was awesome and we wanted a little beach time
Tomar - From here we went to Tomar a little town that is famous for its giant knights templar castle. We were interested in this because we have been learning and seeing all this old historic templar spots along the Camino and this was one of the main castle for the knights. Quick history....The Knights Templar was founded by the French to protect Chritian Pilgrims from the Muslims (Moors) when they wanted to vist the holy land. Spain and Portugal were constantly fighting with the Moors over land and relgion. They took a vow of chasity so these sexually frusted kninghts must have been ready throw down on the Moors. Anyfart...they grew very powerful until one of the kings of France disbanded them for fear of their power. They are a very intersting lot and you probabbly have read about them if you read The Davinci Code (I think they were suppose to have found the holy grail).
Fatima - Basically the Virgin Mary appeared to 3 shepherd children here in 1917. She told them to keep coming every month and she would keep appearing and telling them things
The catch is the more serious the sickenss the harder you have to crawl. So some people were walking down the strip (they obvsiouly had a cold or a headache) while others were on their hands and knees crawling (maybe they had a tumor) while still others were commando crawling (so they must have had AIDS or ebola). You can also buy candles here to light so that god can hear your prayers better (it is a well known fact that candles speed up God's reaction time to your prayers). Because of this and the huge amounts of people that pray there is a huge furnace that incinerates your candle. I really don't even know why they bother with the wick since the furnace melts the candle in your hand (perhaps they should make the candles out of M&Ms) Oh you relgious folk...you're always good for a laugh
Lisbon - We camped in this massive city along with the rest of the poplulation of Western Europe. August is the time that every European camps and the reception lines are a serious problem because of this. We made friends with a Dutch couple and some Germans and drank wine every night with them at the campsite after sight seeing everyday
Churches, shopping, cafes, trolly cars and Museums. Nice city though.
Villa Nova Milfontes - This was a beach town that was so packed that the campsite looked like a refugee area. All of Portugal has August off for vaction. This being so everything was crowed, prices were high and lines were out the door. The camp site as you can see from the pictures was insanley packed. The funny thing about camping here is that Portugese don't camp for camping sake, they camp because its cheaper. So they virtually bring their entire house with them. 80% of the tents had TVs in them. I saw fridges - they basically camp in giagantic circus tents. The spreads we saw were nicer than most houses. The flip side of this is that it takes them a day to set up camp. We lay on the beach here but quickly got bored and frusted that money was flying out of our pockets (that and the ocean was like ice water). Say with me again "we hate the Euro!" So we decided to high tail it to Morocco.
Thus ends our Portugal travels, perhaps it would be nicer in a less busy season with a stronger currency. I don't know why the dollar sucks ass so much (because Portugal is poor) but if anyone can tell me about how this works please email me.
Anyway (Chelise here). I would like to mention the differences we found between Portugese and Spainish people: Portugese are never grumpy to us, Portugese speak great English, Portugese are taller and fatter which makes no sense to me if they are poorer and the Portugese sell cheap underpants.