between the lands

Jessica and Andrew’s travel journal

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Couchsurfing Portugal1

Posted by Jessica in EGYPT, PORTUGAL (May 25, 2007 at 6:13 am)

CIMG2849 j a on lighthouse path.jpg

***Flashing back in time… now you can help us experience our backlog of fotos and experiences***

Portugal – “they are more Spanish than the Spanish”. I can’t tell you who said this but it was a Spaniard. Portugal is where we cut our teeth as “couchsurfers” (not counting the couches of friends we already know) – more on that when we get to Faro.

First stop – LAGOS. It’s got a charming “old city”, walled, waterfront, subtropical. We felt surrounded by other visitors, so we got out fast – but not before we gawked at the truly amazing beach cliffs
CIMG2658 rocks in sea from above.jpg CIMG2648 bridge between rocks far.jpg CIMG2642 beach + cliffs.jpg
…and some really gorgeous tiled buildings. In Spain there’s tons of tile indoors. In Portugal, they put it EVERYWHERE :
CIMG0071 green tile bldg.jpg CIMG2687 well kept tile balcon.jpg
…AND – the FISH MARKET!!! Yum! Too bad we weren’t in town long enough to cook some up…
CIMG2678 line of fish stands.jpg CIMG2682 guy cutting stingray tail.jpg

After the tourist-trap feel of Lagos, SAGRES provided a welcome breather… there is nuttin’ to do here but chill. CIMG2872 men sitting along wall.jpg

We took a little bike ride and saw the southwesternmost point of continental Europe
CIMG2804 furthest lighthouse.jpg

Click here for a riviting 45 second clip featuring one of the ends of the earth.

More amazing cliffs over the sea:
CIMG2789 beach down below.jpg CIMG2797 cliffs + sea.jpg CIMG2865 long cove.jpg
A huge old earthen compass rose that, once again, proved my travel compass to be off a few degrees
CIMG2827 compass closeup.jpg CIMG2829 giant compass.jpg

CRAZY fishermen who taunt death. It doesn’t look so bad in the picture, but it’s a long way to the water, and this guy is close to the edge… SURELY some of them fall!
CIMG2853 cliff fisherman pole up.jpg CIMG2860 fishing supplies on rocks.jpg

We stayed at the affordable and comfy Cuadros de Yvonne, highly recommended. She only speaks Portuguese, but she can understand our bad Spanish just fine. Her dog Snoopy is one well-dressed pooch. CIMG2883 j and sweater pooch.jpg

Then we went to FARO – time to try out!

Click here to check our couchsurfing profile, and add a nice comment about us to help us get free places to stay. You can read more about the couchsurfing project on that site, but basically it’s a way for travelers to link-up and host and be hosted all over the world…Fo’ free!!!!
We are happy to count our Faro hosts Vera and Daniel among our new friends. We only spent one night in Faro, but they showed us a bit of their town and introduced us to Portuguese-style bread soup with spinach, cheese, and egg. Yum!
We walked along the waterfront and saw folks collecting dinner from the tidal flats CIMG0148 heads collecting bivalves.jpg

Vera was the lookout while I peeped CIMG2919 j and vera looking in.jpg

This is the church with the Chapel of Bones – real monks built into the walls! CIMG2938 skulls close up.jpg CIMG2942 skull chapel.jpg

Finally, on to LISBON, the favorite city of our friend Jaime in Seville. He’s a very sensitive guy, so I know he doesn’t say that lightly. I feel we got a small taste of what he means… CIMG2985 city through  arch.jpg
In Lisbon we couchsurfed again, this time with Jorge. Thank you Jorge and thank you Couchsurfing! Again, things worked out beautifully.
Lisbon really is a gorgeous city, including architecture, graffiti, the sea, and the parks.
CIMG2954 elevator building.jpg CIMG3034 crazy tree.jpg CIMG3081 j with flower.jpg CIMG3071 maze of bushes.jpg

I learned to make fish stew and Jorge said it was a success.
CIMG0292 js fish to be cooked.jpg CIMG0297 portugese stew.jpg

Here’s a selection of cool graffiti I liked:
CIMG0186 where r your panties.jpg CIMG0187 conform consume.jpg CIMG0193 roots for legs.jpg CIMG0194 2 black painted birds.jpg CIMG0200 hiphop guehto.jpg CIMG0207 especula desde 1492.jpg CIMG0215 man steps on worker stencil.jpg CIMG0290 bush as clown poster.jpg

Bye bye Lisbon, until next time…CIMG3045 checker tile and woman.jpg

ANDREW SEZ: yes Portugal was nice. I really liked the tile buildings all over the place. Lots of old timers—im a bit concerned about the lack of young people but I guess I have to track down some stats on that before I get too concerned.

Back to the present, we are wrapping up a 3-week stint in Egypt—featuring a boat trip down the nile…
CIMG1566 3 boys on donkeys.jpgCIMG1624 guy fixing mast.jpgCIMG1743 grasses and rowboat.jpgCIMG1730 1 double palm sunset.jpgCIMG1516 boy on shore.jpg

Lots of hieros and temples–more on that some other time…CIMG1796 a points at big carvedmen.jpg

We spent the last few days in Alexandria, with a view of the medeterranian sea from our balcony.CIMG2174 sunset over alex.jpg

We fly out to Tunis tonight—plane flights were not on our original agenda, but we’ve had calendar and visa issues that forced our hand. En sha’allah this is our last flight for a while…Tunisia and Algeria await—Back to the heart of the maghreb!!!
CIMG1541 3 donkeys.jpg