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:…

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…

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…

Holy Week in Portugal

In the “Semana Santa” before Easter many processions take place. Between the castle walls of ancien Obidos hundreds of people witnessed the burial of Christ on Holy Friday night. . At Easter people offer eachother sugared almonds. This year the almonds were delicious: not only covered with sugar but with chocolate, as well. Besides almonds…

Hotels in Lisbon

“Do you know a nice place to stay in Lisbon?” I’m  frequently asked. As a matter of fact, I do. Depending on what purpose I am in Lisbon, I choose to stay in the old city centre or in the new and trendy Expo-area, also called Parque das Nações, the area where in 1998 the…