Special places and moments

September 12, 2013

To say “goodbye” to Portugal and close this series of posts about my journey to Porto and surroundings, I would like to share with you some special moments, places, tastes, memories of here and there during a short and eventful week last May.

Azulejos. The beautiful blue and white painted tiles inside houses, on the facades of churches, on  walls like here in a  hall  of Coimbra’s ancient university.Coimbra, azulejos

Vende se. For sale. An empty house full of memories of people. A house whose inhabitants may have left for various reasons.  Lack of buyers for selling  it to ? No means to repair it ? Moving to another city in search of a job ? Emigrating further away in Europe, the Americas, Africa ? One sees many such abandoned houses or closed down shops during these critical times for the Portuguese economy.

Porto, abandonned house

Art Nouveau style. A striking contrast. A lot of buildings of the early 20th century in Art Nouveau style, are still  visible in Porto. This ancient coffee house has been closed but its prestigious façade and decoration remain. A memory of times  gone.
Porto, A Brasileira

Brazilian hot chocolate, probably the best I ever drank (and this is a Swiss telling you this 😉 Believe me, this creamy, tasty, full-flavored beverage is worth the detour.

Porto, chocolate

Pastelleria (bakery), cakes, pastries and sweets are renowned in Portugal. You find bakeries everywhere offering an abundant choice of delicious sweets. Here in a street of Coimbra at the end of a folk festival.Coimbra, cakes

Stamps. I like writing and choosing nice stamps for my postcards or letters. In a little village along the Douro river, a very nice young lady at the local Post Office  went out of her way to choose all kinds of different stamps for me. In doing so she also loved practising her French, which I really appreciated. People’s kindness and friendliness were constant during my stay in Portugal.Portugal, stamps

Shops and windows. Some shops still have this old or vintage look that one hardly ever sees any longer in my country. Simply delightful ! I could have photographed so many of them !Porto, shop

Flowers. When and where you least expect them, they come at you through a gate, over an old wall, along a street. Bundles of colourful “flores“, highlighting any old stones.

Coimbra's roses

Churches  are numerous in Portugal, of all styles and epochs, simple or heavily decorated, often with azulejos. I chose to show this Porto skyline with you. No overpowering churches but present and beautiful, barely outlined in the setting sun. Porto, skyline 2Thank you for having followed me during the Summer across my journey to Portuguese cities, gardens, river and other places I felt like sharing with you. I really appreciated your visits and comments.

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16 Responses to “Special places and moments”

  1. Beautiful photos, Isa. I think my favorite is the hot chocolate… looks dreamily creamy! And the stamps ~ how wonderful! Thank you for sharing things and places I will never be able to visit.

    • Hello Tamara, this hot chocolate was just exquisite, you would have enjoyed it very much too. Who knows ? maybe someday you will cross the pond and find yourself in Portugal, the country “closest” to the East coast when you cross the Atlantic ? In any case, thanks a lot for having visited me regularly and commenting so nicely.

  2. Isa these are wonderful photos and I have enjoyed seeing your travel photos so much. Portugal is a truly beautiful country. Now you have geat memories to view again and again.

    • Bonjour Yvonne and thanks again for your visits I always read with pleasure. Yes indeed, I will remember fondly of this short journey to Portugal. There are many Portuguese people living and working in my country, I shared my pictures and memories of Portugal with them. They were proud and so happy.

  3. sonali said

    Thank you for taking us around Portugal. Some day in my life, I will visit Portugal too..The place seems so inviting. I liked your choice of photos. Are you feeling sad that your trip is coming to an end? But, you will go back to Switzerland and what more exciting can one ask for? Have a good time, pretty European lady 🙂

    • Hello dear somali. I am really glad you enjoyed my trip to Portugal. If you ever come back to Europe, try to put Portugal on your list, especially in the Spring – less hot – with maybe a detour through Switzerland 😉 I chose the pictures of chocolate, cakes and stamps for you, something more concrete of my daily experiences there. There would be so much more to tell but for now I will stop here. Thank you lovely Indian lady 🙂

  4. Sartenada said

    Bonjour Isa.

    Formidable poste. J’adore Portugal et en particulier ceux des briques “azulejos”. Cet automne, Anja et moi nous avons décidé de commencer à apprendre le portugais. Notre cours est une fois par semaine. Personnellement, j’adore ce que notre professeur est du Brésil. La dernière fois que j’ai visité là c’était dans les années soixante.

    À propos, mon prochain article la semaine suivante présentera couettes!

    Bon week-end!

    • Tant mieux si mon blog sur le Portugal te plaît, j’espère qu’un jour Anja et toi pourrez mettre en pratique vos cours de portugais sur place. Je me réjouis d’admirer les couettes de Finlande. Merci.

  5. sybil said

    I’ll probably never make it to Portugal, so your sharing your visit means a lot to me.

  6. shoreacres said

    I’m so tickled by some of your photo choices here. The tiles are beautiful, of course. And I’m a great fan of art nouveau, as you know. (Did I ever mention that my avatar is from the great Mucha’s rendering of “Poetry”? You can see the entire portrait here..

    The stamps were a surprise. My father was a great stamp collector. I wish now I hadn’t dispersed most of his foreign collection – I could have sent you very old, very historic Swiss and European stamps. Ah, well.

    But here’s the real surprise. Three of the posts I’d planned for my little “useful bits of beauty” series include tiles, stamps and linens – all things which I think you’ll enjoy very much. Most people today don’t think of stamps at all, let alone as art. But then, most people don’t take the time for postcards and letters any more!

    This has been a wonderful series. Thank you so much for sharing not only your photos, but your words. Your memories must be as rich as that luscious-looking chocolate!

  7. http://aboutartnouveau.wordpress.com
    Linda, I just found this site thanks to a “like” on my last post. It should interest you. I had noticed that your avatar was from the great artist Mucha. Beautiful !

    I really look forward to reading your next post “Useful bits of beauty” and seeing what kind of tiles, stamps and linens you chose to present us. I love this coincidence.

    Thank you for your compliment about this series. I took so many photographs during this short week, choosing amongst them was not easy but I just followed my instinct day after day. i am happy you enjoyed it.

  8. Kathy said

    It was so enjoyable to see Portugal through your eyes on these blogs, Isa. How fun it would be to visit this special country! I have a friend who now owns a quinta there. Someday, maybe someday…

  9. Thank you Kathy. Yes someday, maybe someday these dreams of ours will come true, we must keep them alive, don’t we ? I was fortunate – and closer – so that mine came true. I wish the same for you.

  10. Je m’ai bien amusé en regardant les photos de tes vacances au Portugal. Les commerces traditionelles me rapellent des devantures irlandaises. …et maintenant, moi aussi, je veux une grande tasse de chocolat chaud!

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