Thursday, 30 October 2014

Summer in Portugal

Upon waking from a horrifying, alcohol-induced hallucino-nightmare - in which I had fallen down a rabbit-hole, bumped into a talking rabbit with a pocket-watch, had tea with a table full of hatchet-wielding freaks all with Belladonna's face and escaped from the clutches of the Red Queen - Juan, my handsome Brazilian butler, revived me by sticking his lollipop in my mouth and then explained to me that he had taken me on the private jet to Portugal for a few months' holiday.

Apparently, I had been unconscious for a few days and muttering in my sleep.  Oh well, I did drink the entire drinks cabinet dry!  My liver is now earning a good, long rest under the Portuguese sun.

So we spent gorgeous afternoons on this wonderfully-wild beach on the Troia Peninsula, one hour south of Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal.  It is as gorgeous as it looks: crunchy, white sands; shallow ocean; backed by sand dunes and pine forests, with not a building in sight.

Forget the smelling salts!  My trusty Brazilian butler, Juan, knows too well that
I can be revived from the darkest of depressions by sucking a lollipop.
  Must be the sugar.
During our trip to Portugal, we spent time visiting the local area, and one particular site that impressed us was the Romanticist Palácio Nacional da Pena on a hilltop; the palace has a profusion of architectual styles including Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Neo-Islamic and Neo-Renaissance. 

The eclectic, pastel- red, yellow, orange and ochre of the buildings reminded us of cake decorations, and was stunning in the intense light.  

Lisbon - the second oldest city in Europe, and spread across seven hillsides punctuated by numerous 'miradouros', or viewpoints - is a particularly fascinating city to visit.  The city lives in a Latin fairytale of time-worn manners and traditions, with wooden trams and iron funiculars thundering through its cobbled, almost-Dickensian streets.   Its old neighbourhoods are both gritty and glamorous.  You have the fashionable Baixa, the city's cheerfully decrepit 18th-century downtown, and Alfama, an eighth-century Moorish district and the home of fado, a lifting and haunting opera-style music sung by a lone diva in candle-lit restaurants.  Chiado is a fashion-lover's magnet, with plenty of top-brand clothing shops and great restaurants.

  Portugal’s pastel de nata is a melt-in-the-mouth buttery delight
And here's a shot of Juan, my gorgeous Brazilian butler taking a swim.
So the reason for my three-month absence from the blogosphere is our trip to beautiful Portugal.  I think I've fallen in love with Portugal.  It really is a perfect little country with everything you could want. 


  1. Juan is an absolute dreamboat, have you got Juan for me? All I seem to attract nowadays are old dredgers. Did you visit Lisbon's Pink Street? It was pissing down with rain the last time I was there, I remember Carmen, wearing a cagoule, trying to persuade me to go on a hop on hop off tour bus with the common public, I was not having any of it.

    1. Yes, I am surrounded by beautiful, ripped men. I will send one your way.

      I did visit Principle Real, the gay quarter of Lisbon. It was full of staring lesbians, which got my hackles up. They think they own the town. Should be called Les-bon, not Lisbon. No doubt, Carmen went down well on her visit (if you'll excuse the pun)!

  2. Sigh. Looks beautiful. I made do with a day trip to Padstow and had an ice cream. No profusions of any sort.