Tag Archives: travel

The butter babies of Igreja Matriz

Fellow church hounds, I know you get it: the delight of stumbling on an unexpected and, more importantly, unlocked church. With an unanticipated free afternoon in northeast Portugal’s Vila Nova de Foz Côa, HOB and I were lucky to find the 16th century parish church Igreja Matriz, smack in the middle of Foz Côa’s main […]

The Unfinished Chapels of Batalha: architecture shocks sky

There’s a monastery in the town of Batalha that looks as it is carved from crystalized honey.  One of my finer life choices was to spend an entire day looking at it. (Okay, full disclosure, I probably would have crammed in at least one other monastery in our itinerary that day had the bus schedules […]

Draw your family: prehistoric rock art of the Côa Valley

Arriving at the site of the 22,000 year old rock art in northwestern Portugal was uncomplicated—too uncomplicated.  I enjoyed getting there so much that I was hoping to drag the experience out more.  After sharing jeep ride with our guide from the Museu do Côa and another couple, we hiked a short distance through a […]

Are we Trunk-Slammers? The dubious ethics of cultural tourism

Growing up in the rural Midwest, I lived for several years in a resort for well-off city dwellers.  (My mom had remarried and some of my stepfather’s family owned and operated the place, and for a while he worked there too.)  The resort had artificially created lakes, golf courses, a concrete castle, and hilly roads […]

Funniest travel moments of 2018

Oh 2018, you were a lot to handle.  The Manchurian Cantaloupe spent the year calling the free press the enemy of the people, changing cabinet members more than I change my sheets, putting babies in cages and licking the posteriors of authoritarian leaders.  I did my best to maintain a sense of humor (dicey at […]

Jerónimos Monastery: first person to spot the phallic gargoyle wins a free corn dog

Do yourself a favor and go see Jerónimos Monastery, a Manueline-style UNESCO World Heritage Site just outside of Lisbon.  Do yourself another favor and get there early.   HOB and I did arrive early, though not early enough to avoid a giant line.  While this was annoying and the catalyst of predictable marital discord (why, […]

Porto: you can skip ahead to the sardines

Every country has what I call “the circuit.”  The circuit is the travel itinerary most tourists follow (Rome-Florence-Venice-eat lots of gelato-fly home).  When I put together our Portugal itinerary, I stuck to the circuit much more than I usually do.  HOB was having problems with his foot and I couldn’t anticipate if he’d be able […]

Getting our ya-ya’s out in Vila Nova de Foz Côa

Our only reason for stopping in Vila Nova de Foz Côa was to see to nearby prehistoric rock art in the Côa Valley.  As we were leaving the archeological site to walk the 4K back to town, a nice couple who shared our hike to the petroglyphs offered us a ride, so we ended up […]

Food and fado in Coimbra

We’re in Portugal. Current location: Coimbra. Current occupation: eating.  (I politely request that anyone who notices the food stuck in my teeth refrain from mentioning it). This was today’s lunch, from a bar inside a food market.  (I hope you been a good student of this blog and have noted that the best food is […]

Your budget traveler’s favorite souvenirs are…(hint, real estate agents)

I don’t buy myself souvenirs when I travel, mostly because I’m cheap.  I love clothes and lipstick, but otherwise I’m not a “thing” person.  I am a food person, but most of what I want to bring home is liquid; local honey or you know, about twenty bottles of olive oil, which certainly would exceed […]