Portugal: An English View of a Cultural Landscape
John Pauline shares his thoughts on traveling to the country of Portugal. This is based on his own thoughts/experiences in his life.
Portugal has become well known to the travel industry and tourists alike as a relatively cheap ‘alternative’ to Spain in terms of accommodation, flights and even food. But the fact is that until you head out there yourself and experience the vast differences between them and subtle beauties of the amazing Portuguese culture you won’t know any better.
From the history of their civilisation to the origins of their food the two cultures really are quite separate, potentially due to Portugal’s history as one of the world’s greatest super powers. At one time its empire stretched across the entire globe including parts of Africa, Oceania, and South America. This might be in part responsible for its vast and diverse sense of national identity, a fact which gives the whole country a beautifully surprising variety of cultural aspects.
Personally my relationship with this wonderful country started a young age when my parents took me and my older brother to a small town in the Algarve for our first holiday. I recall thinking then how beautiful all the buildings were and how much the locals smiled, compared to the people in our local Manchester neighbourhood.
My second visit to the same town was even more enlightening, and was the first time I ate freshly caught fish straight from a hot barbeque. This experience was not in fact that of a restaurant but a local who saw me and my brother wondering down to the local beach early one morning and handed us both a perfectly crispy and tasty sardine each. Without so much as a word of English, this smiling old man changed my perception on what it meant to be a good soul.
It was only a week later that, upon reaching the beach on another similarly fresh morning that another local fisherman who was sat alone on the beach showed me the best technique for gutting an octopus. It was then that I realised what a truly magical and wonderful place to be.
Each time I have returned to Portugal something similarly beautiful and amazing has occurred, for example my discovery of the glass bottomed boats which run spectacular wildlife tours of Lagos’ beautiful marinas or the wonderfully humid rainy weeks which occur through March and are devoid of tourists. Similarly strange and beautiful is the time of year when the scorching coast line is covered with beached jelly fishes.
In any case it’s worth saying that without visiting this strange and beautiful land nothing can explain the all round politeness and child like happiness of its people.
About the author
John Pauline is a travel blogger writing on behalf of Sky Park Secure. For cheap travel to Portugal out of the North West including Lagos, the Algarve or its capital of Lisbon he recommends the use of Manchester airport parking to save money on travel and flights.