If you are looking to escape to a land of castles and fairy tales, a land of warm and genuinely welcoming people, a place where food is an experience you look forward to meal after meal, and a place you continue to discover throughout your journey — go to Portugal!
After completing my Camino de Santiago and spending some time in Galicia, it was a natural step for me to continue down to Portugal. A Portuguese tourist office in Santiago gave me a map of the northern region of Portugal and gave me directions to get to my first stop in Viana do Castelo.
To be honest, I did not know what to expect in Portugal. I was anxiously looking forward to Porto for its renowned port wine and Lisbon, the city of explorers but the rest was a mystery. But I must say, Portugal has been a wonderful surprise.
Since I have been here, I have never had a day when I have not made friends with a local who took the time to welcome me in their home, their city, and their celebration. Portuguese are proud people who seem to love life as much as they love their country. I knew no one when I arrived but in a short period of the week I have been here, I have been to a wedding, a birthday celebration and formed more than 20 new friendships in the past few days.
I feel that each place and experience in Portugal deserve a post of its own. So expect more on Portugal in the coming days on Living-Being.
In the meantime, if you’re in Portugal, make sure to try Chanfana (delicious lamb stew, marinated in red wine) and Pastel de Nata (pastry filled with sweet cream). Oh, and if you happen to be passing through Coimbra, don’t miss Fado (traditional music) at Cafe Santa Cruz in the main square.
“Keep Exploring the world around you and the world within”
About The Author
Urooj Qureshi is pro Adventurer and storyteller. Follow his adventures on Instagram @uroojqureshi.
Originally published at http://www.living-being.com on August 3, 2012.