Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: Portugal sailing
I found Portugal to be an absolutely marvelous country. The people that I encountered were friendly and welcoming,with a modest and thoughtful culture. The country has a number of regions each with its own unique beauty. The sense of the country's long and rich history is everywhere and seemingly treated with respect among visitors and the Portuguese themselves. Compared to the US and my understanding of most of the rest of Europe, I found Portugal quite affordable. Lisbon and Porto seem to have vibrant art scenes. The Algarve has some wonderful historic little cities, but tends to be overrun with tourists 'in season', and in some areas are so overwhelmed by ex-pats that some of the Portuguese culture seems somewhat obscured or caricatured.
Depending on where you are in the country, the sailing is either year round, or else so extreme that only someone feeling suicidal would go sailing in winter in that part of the coast.
I am not very good at learning languages, and the Portuguese language is not as easy as some other Latin based languages, (Brazilian Portuguese is a bit different than Portugal Portuguese the Brazilian version seemingly easier to pronounce) but I found that I was able to learn enough to understand a lot of what was being said. Unfortunately, my pronunciations were so poor that most of the time the listener would say words to the effect of, "Lets both speak English, it will be less painful for both of us." But they almost always said that they appreciated me trying and if I asked they would help me with pronunciation or the correct syntax.
I must say, while I did a lot of research before traveling there, I was not there very long. I did see much of the Portuguese coast from Tavira in the southeast to most of the towns across the Algarve to Sagres and Logos in the southwest then on up to Lisbon, Aveiro and Porto further to the northwest. Each area has its own identify, and patina of its history, that made each worthwhile to visit. I did not spend very much time in the inland cities so its harder for me to comment on those. On thing that did surprise me about being inland was passing through what appeared to be essentially ghost towns- small, older, historic towns, which were essentially abandoned and overgrown. I found the public transport quite good and affordable, but with its own idiosyncrasies, but none that seemed especially draconian, just different than some other parts of the world.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 08-03-2018 at 05:03 PM.