Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Break in Portugal?!

Lori & JoAnn perched above Braga
While most people choose a beach vacation or desert landscape for spring break, my friend Lori chose Portugal!  Several days after landing in Lisbon, Lori and her friend JoAnn made their way north to Braga.  We were on the go for 3 days, zipping around northern Portugal and sampling lots of local food and wine. Their spirit of adventure, thoughtful planning, and open-minded approach to travel made them ideal guests.  The fact that they brought us chocolate ginjinha and other treats didn't hurt either!!

After busy mornings, our leisurely lunches were perfect!  My favorite lunch was in Porto where Lori had a polvo epiphany.  After asking me a few questions about the flavor and texture of octopus, I told her that if she ordered it and hated it I would swap entrees with her and she could have my garlic shrimp.  After just a few bites of a sweet, tender tentacle, I could tell that she wasn't going to want to swap meals with me. She is the newest poster child for Portuguese gastronomy!

Lori's first bite of polvo!
After a full day of sightseeing and eating on Wednesday, we were joined by my friend Katie as we headed to a small bar for Fado Vadio. Fado Vadio translates as bohemian, vagabond or loafer Fado.  It is sung more to express emotions than for commercial ends and is generally performed by amateurs.  At the time, I didn't know that this is a typical form of Fado performance; we just thought of it as Karaoke Fado Night. 

Lori at the GuimarĂ£es castle

On Thursday, our trip to the sprawling weekly market in Barcelos became a mission to find pretty scarves.  We were quite successful, and our final tally was 12 scarves!  Decked out in our new scarves, we headed to Porto on Friday.  Lori and JoAnn planned our day and we had a great time tasting port and exploring sites on both sides of the river.  I left them in Porto to continue their adventure while I headed back to Braga - tired but giddy.  

Scarf shopping frenzy in Barcelos
Our Lady of the Tiles 

During the last 7 months, I've had a lot of time to think about how important my friendships are to me.  Although having heaps of time with Eric has been an invaluable gift, I would be lost and lonely without the love and support of my friends.

~ Peggy

No comments:

Post a Comment