Blogs from Portugal, Europe


Europe » Portugal March 15th 2014

The adventure of getting to Lisbon was already starting fabulously, I thought, as I cracked open a beer in the waiting area for my flight and casually struck up a conversation with a super cute Italian girl. Chiara (love that name) was a make-up artist on films who today was traveling to Lisbonna (as the Italians called the city) to learn to surf. I felt like I was in a Fellini film when we spoke because by nature she was so romantic! The flight was delayed and we circled the Oceanic city a few times before landing. When we landed I was happy to see Lucia waiting for me in the greeting area with her huge beautiful smile and deep enigmatic brown eyes. I gave her a hug and a kiss. She gave me a gift ... read more
Sao Bento Buzz
An old Portuguese castle
Under the Bridge

Europe » Portugal » Azores » Pico March 10th 2014

Dear Fellow Travelers, I have a confession to make for I have done a bad thing. On this, our first trip around the world, I did not quite understand how to make best use of this fantastic web site. For example, I did not know that you could set up individual trips under the same URL. When I did finally discover this, I tried and failed. So my confession is this . . . We have done a couple of other trips (and a couple of other blogs) and so have created new TB accounts!! I did not want to do this, and I will be speaking to the TB invigilators to see if this can be rectified. But in the meantime, if you are interested, we have documented a trip to Iceland: and a ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Azores » Pico March 10th 2014

Part of our intrepid voyage within this archipelago is educational, and to this end, Queequeg and I are invited to attend presentations on the sciences of the ocean, ecology and of course Cetaceans. Here are some interesting things we have learned. 1. The Blue Whale is known by many names. One of these names is “Balaenoptera musculus” which means “whale wing mouse” (a joke on account of its size). Another common name is “Sulphur Bottoms”, (at which point I had to suppress my mirth, as this is indeed one of the common names I use for Queequeg) on account of a type of algae that grows on its underbelly (the whale that is, not Queequeg). 2. On account of a variety of factors, such as the exchange of cold and warm currents ie. convection, the Coriolis ... read more
The Lucky Winners
Global Ocean Current
Pico Boo-o

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa » Paco de Arcos March 8th 2014

Time to test your Travel IQ, or TIQ. Borrowed slightly from National Geographic Traveler, my current favorite in the world of boring travel magazines. 1. In the Kalahari Desert, ring-shaped patches of grass are commonly known by what name? 2. Olympus Mons, the tallest known mountain in our solar system, towers 15.4 miles over the surface of what planet? 3. The Cardamom Mountains, a final redoubt of the Khmer Rouge, stretch across the border of what two Asian nations? 4. Together, the Portuguese words for wine and garlic form the name of what curry native to Goa, India? 5. What state has more miles of river than any other? (You will never guess) 6. Name the 14th century Muslim scholar from Morocco who traveled to 40 countries over a 30-year period? 7. The lion-fish hybrid known ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Azores » Pico March 7th 2014

The dreamtime tale you are about to read is true. The pictures that accompany this dreamtime tale, I took with my mind camera. This may not be true. Last night I had a dream. It goes like this . . . I awoke around 2:00am to Queequeg shaking me, most distressed and enquiring “Massa, Massa, are you alright Massa?”. “Of course”, I replied, “why do you ask so alarmingly Queequeg?” (trying to avoid my eyes drifting helplessly towards his welts). “You were talking in your sleep Massa”, he said. “What was I saying Queequeg?” I replied. “It sounded like ‘Buff, buff’ Massa”, he said. I searched the corners of my mind and instantly recalled the very moment of which he spoke. This caused me great mirth and I wheezed and coughed as I struggled to catch ... read more
Andy Marshall
Mrs Marshall
Mr Superchips


Europe » Portugal » Azores » Pico March 6th 2014

Don’t get me wrong, as a self-confessed ardent supporter of the spiritual sanctity of another’s soul, I cherish the greatest respect towards everybody’s religious obligations, no matter how comical, but the more I learn of my bedfellows eccentric habits, the more I am challenged to question my own sanity. For example, Queequeg’s welts I have already mentioned, but still I cannot but keep myself from staring at them whenever they are abroad. With the appearance of a Vagia’s giant eyeballs, they seem to have their own independent minds, roving this way and that, constantly on their guard as if scanning the surroundings for signs of impending danger. I am convinced they some hypnotic powers over me as it is all I can do to tear my eyes away from them. And as for his manhood, we ... read more
Museum As Busy As Hotel
I'm Rich I Tells Ya
What A Sweet Little Grumpy Old Twat

Europe » Portugal » Azores » Pico March 4th 2014

Call me Ishmael. How I came to be on this archipelago is no concern of yours. And how I came to meet my strange travelling companion (let’s call him Queequeg) is also no concern of yours. Suffice it to say, we are bedfellows, and we are friends. But never a stranger bedfellow should you wish to meet. More of that later. And so it came to pass that we came to find ourselves in this small corner of the world – Pico Island, The Azores - away from the main shipping lanes, in search of food and shelter, when we came upon an Inn the likes of which you have never seen in all of Christendom. Unlike “The Spouter”, the equivalent hostelry from my literary doppelganger, this Inn was not full to the ginnels with fellow ... read more
Joshua Tree
Hustle Bustle Of Breakfast
Vagia's Hut

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon February 22nd 2014

A while back, in the midst of ever darkening days here in Scandinavia, I booked a ticket for February break. After toying with going father north to experience reindeer and, if lucky, the Northern Lights, I decided instead to head south for a break from my vitamin D supplements opting for direct sunlight instead. As I had never visited Portugal, it seemed a great opportunity to do so. My friend’s mother teaches in an international school outside of Lisbon, and she opened up her home to me! What a chance to talk with an International Baccalaureate legend and to have a home base from which to adventure! This had me staying in the beautiful Cascais, a 40-minute train ride from Lisbon. Cascais brims over with lovely castle-like homes and views of crashing waves. I can only ... read more
Bridge and Statue
Monument of Discoveries
Tower of Belem

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Faro January 26th 2014

Blog Intro I haven't managed to travel much in my lifetime. As a child i remember watching Michael Palin's travel series on a Sunday evening and dreaming of seeing every different place he visited and loving the local experiences he took part in and people he met. I always loved to see new places and knew that i wanted to see the world. Unfortunately I still haven't managed to do a lot of travelling apart from a few short trips, escaping the resort on package holidays and spending six weeks backpacking alone around north / eastern europe / the baltics, couchsurfing and hostelling. Two brief stops in faro: Part One Me and Vicki ( girlfriend ) booked a week off work and used skyscanner to find a cheap flight from Manchester. We chose Faro, which was ... read more
Faro High street
Charactered tiles

Europe » Portugal January 15th 2014

It was a reunion of the crazy fuckers. Flashback: We had all met in Switzerland when I was an even crazier (than present day Josh) 20 turning 21 year old and had taken a trip to Europe with $1000 I had saved for a month traveling. I traveled to Amsterdam first. There I blasted through most of my $$ there. Then, realizing there had to be more to Europe I took a train to Switzerland before going to Italy and finally flying from France. Since my father had gone to medical school in Switzerland my aunty gave me the contact of his best friend from the university. His friend had a son and his son had many funny friends. We all loved surfing and partying so we took a trip to Biarritz, France; the capital of ... read more
April 25th Bridge
Group Rock Star Photo
Minha Ginginha!

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