Traveling to…Lisbon

I’ve just returned from a few days of traveling to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, to visit my uncle and aunt who live in the Charneca da Caparica. A quaint little neighborhood surrounded by pine trees and overflowing gardens, just a few minutes from the beach. It’s a three-hour drive from where I live in the mountains, but when you see rolling hills of trees surrounding tiny terra-cotta roofed villages, time almost fades away. I come from a long line of farmers, which is a big reason I have a deep connection to nature. There isn’t a home that doesn’t have a farm or garden, but these aren’t your average flowering gardens. Even the smallest patches of dirt are transformed to nurture potatoes, kale, tomatoes, a variety of herbs, fruiting trees, just to name a few and of course grapes!

In the words of my wise uncle, “I’m the happiest and feel the most at peace when I’m at the table savory a good meal and cup, or two, of homemade wine.” There is a different type of love for food here, it is more of a passion. Yes, we may pile small mounds of food on our plates but the difference is that everything we eat came from the lands we gave months of tender loving care to. Other than the fish I ate {Even the poultry my other family ate was raised by them} came from my uncle’s garden just right outside the kitchen. Something in me just lit up! I’ve done my best to live healthy and organically for the past few years, but earlier this year I want to do more to lead a more sustainable life. I think it’s important to raise awareness about the cause in saving not only our planet but the importance of eating healthy and  appreciating food. Seeing the numerous drying leaves, which transformed into a sweet liquor to wash our piece of cake and tea before we went to bed, and my uncle making his own yogurt, Kefir, just amazed me!

I’m looking forward to the warm weather of Arizona, and researching the different types of produce and flowers that I can putting my own care into and creating delicious meals from. It is such a rewarding and satisfying feeling, that many don’t realize. It was only three days, but already I’ve come away with so much…

The early morning fog lingering over the rice fields

Finally the fog is lifting, but it’s pretty interesting that for some unknown reason this region is always engulfed during the morning hours

Beautiful clear and bright blue skies

Alvalade Stadium, the home of one of Portugal’s top 3 soccer teams…Sporting {my family favorite}

Ponte de 25 de Abril and the Cristo Rei monument become the focal points on this gorgeous afternoon. This bridge always reminds me of being in San Francisco, even though I’ve never been

Another stunning view of Lisbon from an old family friend’s veranda..now that’s a beautiful site to wake up to

Surfer’s Point at the Costa da Caparica. It’s one of my favorite places in Portugal. Crystal clear sea foam water, mountains in one distance and the city of Lisbon to the other, and nothing but the sun shining above, only pure beauty surrounds you

There’s nothing like a refreshing authentic Portuguese beer to wash down my seafood salad, topped with lemon-butter garlic crab from the coast and juicy pineapple

A beach inspired cafe where we enjoyed our traditional espresso before a brisk night walk along the beach

Good morning garden

One of the many beautiful succulents from my uncle’s garden and some freshly picked cumquats 

Cumquats ripening on the vine, just waiting for me to pick one off to enjoy 

The endless amounts of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that we enjoyed at every meal. I’m more determined now than ever to live a more sustainable life and start a garden

The tropical, and very expensive, flower known as Birds of Paradise along with numerous other tropic plants grow in abundance here in Portugal

Good morning sleeping Sting

Just your average breakfast table in Porugal. Freshly brewed coffee, endless slow cooked jams from Tomato to Prickly pear to Plum and homemade muesli which I enjoyed mixed with a banana and juicy peach. I also hand picked a little delight I’ve never even heard of before, the Melon Pear. It has the same taste characteristics as any melon, but has a bitter undertone, yet still refreshing

I find myself gazing out the window during long car rides, mesmerized by the historical architect we encounter on our travels

As for me, this weekend brings a family wedding. Weddings a more of an entire weekend affair here, as we begin our morning with an elaborate breakfast at my cousin’s house before we parade in our cars to the church, then to the venue where we enjoy endless delicious food and wine into the hours of the night. As if that wasn’t a celebration to remember, Sunday the close family {which is by no means small} gathers for a lunch, that turns into a dinner. I know it will be a tiring and long two days, but it will be spent with family, friends, happiness and love!


6 thoughts on “Traveling to…Lisbon

  1. What tidy gardens! I wish mine looked like that. I’m always being overgrown by some veggie or weed. I enjoyed virtually visiting Portugal with you. I have been to Spain, Italy, France, Monaco…..but never Portugal. Ticket time.

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    1. Yes a trip to Portugal is in order then. I’m glad you enjoyed my photographs, you’ll have to experience its beauty for yourself. The only other European country I’ve been to is Spain, Italy is at the top of my list!!

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