Journey to Portugal

Memories Rekindled, New Paths Explored

A Journey Through Portugal

It has been a bit since we were last in Portugal, and it was wonderful to be back in the splendor of the Portuguese Riviera. Portugal is a wonderful place to visit and its many cultural spots are a real treat – I particularly love the coastal area around Cascais. The beautiful Atlantic Ocean presents an endless vista of color and longing. It's easy to understand why so many Portuguese became “world-famous” explorers and traveled to distant lands to bring back both the riches of gold, precious stones, and silk but also the many foods, spices and customs of the people they met. The openness of the sea just makes you want to sail!

A Rich History to Explore

Lisbon, the capital, is charming, and the hills make it a fun city to walk about in. The historic old city which ends on the water’s edge at a magnificent square with a Palace abutted to it. The site is both dramatic and majestic! Almost 8 years ago we were in Portugal as a family and had a wonderful visit. We started in Lisbon, then stayed for a few nights in Cascais, then drove up the coast via Nazare ending with a few days in Porto. One of the special memories of that trip was celebrating my daughter’s birthday on June 23rd which coincides with Saint Jean-Baptiste Day – when Porto comes alive with a giant street party! It is spectacular – to say the least!

Reimagining Memories

Anyway, this year my daughter, Olivia, decided that she wanted to celebrate her “Golden Birthday:” in Porto – that is her 23rd birthday on June 23rd in the year 2023! Not many get to pull this off … and so here we were back in Portugal retracing our steps from the previous visit. Everything seemed familiar – and as much fun as ever.

Lisbon, Cascais, and the Enchanting National Palace of Pena

We started in Lisbon, and then stayed for a few nights in Cascais – with visits to the National Palace of Pena in Sintra, and other places around the coast. The National Palace of Pena is where the Portuguese royal family lived till their departure and exile in the 1910 and it has been retained as a museum to date. The Palace is filled with furniture inspired by the famous “spindle” design – evoking memories of our collection of furniture which has a very similar look.

Barley Twist Coffee Table

Barley Twist Wooden Bench

Barley Twist Desk

Barley Twist Wooden Mirror

Breathtaking Coastal Views

We then took the beautiful coastal highway up to Porto making a few stops … the more memorable of those being Nazare and Canal De Sao Roque, both beautiful and as different from each other as you can imagine. Nazare is famed for it’s big surf and majestic cliffs, and Canal De Sao Roque as the Venice of Portugal! We stopped and enjoyed a meal of freshly caught fish, and some Vino Verde!

Inspiration at Every Turn

We took a short detour to visit a few glassware, ceramic and textile factories and also took the opportunity to meet with a furniture company with the intent of exploring potential opportunities for some furniture in the not-too-distant future. Porto and Portugal also have a lot of wool and cotton textiles, and I took the opportunity to visit a few factories with the intent of bringing a few new things to our Wisteria customers in coming months. I saw some of the best Matelassé, and throws in Wool and Wool/Cotton blends! More on this in the ensuing months.

Palma Pot

Large Potted Sculptura Boxwood

Delect Wine Glasses - Set of 6

Xavier Diamond Quilt

Porto's Vibrant Tastes and Delightful Traditions

Arriving in Porto early in the evening gave us a chance to freshen up and then head for a dinner of sardines (the timing coincided with the annual sardine festival!) and then onto a night of partying in the streets of Porto! If you have not been – put it on your bucket list! Porto is, of course, famous for its Port Cellers around the docks and a “Port Bar Crawl” is a must – it’s not one where you get raving drunk, but more eloquent with each glass on the aromatics of the port in front of you. I would say almost to a poetic level!

This was the first leg of our trip – a week in Portugal and I am all ready to return in the next year! The next leg of the trip was onto Spain …. More to follow!

This was the first leg of our trip – a week in Portugal and I am all ready to return in the next year! The next leg of the trip was onto Spain …. More to follow!

Experience the beauty of Portugal with Global Designs from Wisteria.