Ballet of kitesurf

Are you a kitesurfer? Ever heard of Óbidos Lagoon?  It’s an excellent spot for kitesurflovers and their families! From a terrace on the boulevard of Foz do Arelho I overlooked the kitesurfers for hours on a sunny but windy afternoon in October. What a ballet! For local rent and lessons – kite, windsurf, kayak, bodysurf:…

Arriving in Lisbon by plane

You arrive at Lisbon Airport and then what? You can travel by car (rented), grab a taxi or continue by metro or bus. Have a look at the possibilities by watching the short videos! Approaching Lisbon means: fenomenal views out of the airplane window! Do you want to continue your journey by taxi or (Aero)bus? Rather…

Love for both: amar pelos dois

Disney meets saudade when Salvador Sobral starts singing the Portuguese entry of the Eurovision Songcontest. Amazing performance. Even the sound difficulties at the start can’t bother a performer who knows his vocals are extraordinary. And what amazes me most is his apparance: no nonsense, with a genuine bad-hair-day look. Close your eyes after a couple…

Highway toll payment

They say it ensures greater speed of circulation. Sure. But in my humble opinion the actual Portuguese toll system on highways is complicated and a nuisance for drivers with a foreign license plate or a rented car. Some roads become a electronic toll road without the possibility of changing our itinerary. Friends keep asking me: Can I pay…

Carnival celebrations in Caldas da Rainha

Carnival in Caldas usually kicks off on Thursday night with a party for the elderly in the big expo-hall near the roundabout of fuel station Galp and Staples Office Center. On Friday the city centre comes alive during a colourful parade of primary school children. Hundreds of bees, princesses and pirates wind their way through…

Lisbon: foodcourt in market halls

In former market halls near Tagus river there is  a huge foodcourt these days. Part of the Mercado da Ribeira is transformed in a culinary hot spot, called Time Out Market. On a December evening we travel by metro to this place opposite the metro/trainstation Cais do Sodré. It’s around eight o’clock when we arrive and there is…

Lisbon: Hotel Real Palácio

We didn’t expect to get a Downton Abbey-feeling when I booked a hotel in Lisbon. But room 135 in the old part of  Hotel Real Palácio unexpectedly provides us one. The hotel is divided in a recent and old building. Our room for tonight is room 135, in the old part. Luckily this ancient city palace, with a…

Roasted apple (maçã assada) recipe

  A traditional Portuguese dessert is ‘Maçã assada’, roasted apple. It’s not difficult to make yourself! And it can be served cold, but I personally prefer a ‘roasted apple’ when it is still a bit warm. The basic ingredients are always the same: apples, sugar, cinnamon. My recipe of maçã assada has a personal touch:…

Vindima: grape picking season

The weather was particularly dry this year. Since the beginning of March it hardly rained, leaving farmers rather desperate. Those who irrigated the vineyards in August were able to save most of their harvest luckily. The grape picking season normally starts mid September and goes on to half October. At our family farm, ‘quinta‘ as we…

Why don’t you go to Mafra for a chance?

Everybody goes to Sintra. But why don’t you visit Mafra? From Lisbon Airport it’s only a bit more than a half an hour drive. And by the way, Mafra is close to Sintra. So go to this little town! Mafra welcomes you with a breathtaking view of a huge palace. Besides that, in Sintra it’s overloaded with…

Where to eat near Caldas da Rainha and Foz do Arelho?

People keep asking me all the time: “Do you know a good restaurant?”. As a matter of fact, I do. We spend a lot of time in restaurants, so we know quite a few nice places where they serve a decent meal for a reasonable price near Caldas da Rainha and Foz do Arelho in the Silver…