Thursday, 18 August 2016

roadtrippin' in portugal

I recently started a series on my parisian favourites. Last summer I also started one on the Basque country, so I figured why not start a third series on my roadtrip to Portugal. Apparently I have these ideas of grandeur when I blog that make me split up all my posts into several chapters... and rarely get to the last one, but excuse my excitement when it comes to this trip, I have to put everything aside to tell you about it. In several parts of course.

So let's say this is chapter one. It will be about the itinerary written in a "I've got holiday brain and just want to post some of my 10.000 pictures from this trip without thinking too much about it" kind of style. I want you to feel you need to go to Portugal. (you do, look me in the eyes). I'll write about several of our stops along the way later on (I know what you're thinking, but I will try my best to make it happen).

So here's what happened. My husband left for a long work assignment in Rio and my eldest son was doing an internship in Paris. The words Portugal and roadtrip had been popping up in my head for the last many months, I don't quite know why, maybe because we're leaving the old continent for Washington DC in a week. That could very well have something to do with it. Maybe because my kids are growing up too fast and very soon they won't go anywhere with me. 

We made an itinerary for 12 days, I booked hotels and Airbnbs based on recommendations, photos I had seen on Instagram and elsewhere, different blogs I follow, laziness, luck, despair (when it's very late at night and you can't find any place to stay because you're booking last minute), rented a car and off we went, me and my two youngest (12 and 14 years old) 

We started in the Basque Country just near the Spanish border so that meant we only had 7 hours to reach Porto and only a bit more coming from Coimbra on the way back.

I had a shitty French guidebook with me (won't mention the name) that made me realise that that's not how I'm traveling anymore. I get recommendations elsewhere and piece everything together the way I want it. I save pages, photos, advises here and there on my iphone and computer and mostly I improvise along the way. This is probably not so easy if you're traveling with younger kids, they have all this regular feeding program you need to stick to. But most of the time, once you know where you sleep, the rest can be made up as you go along.

Of course I miss plenty of stuff and I've had lots of people tell me "What!? You didn't go and see that?". We miss things every day, here and elsewhere, you have to be okay with that. On this roadtrip we made a two nights stop only in Lisbon. That's not nearly enough if you want to see everything, but it's enough to discover several places, feel the mood and get an insight to the city.

Here's our itinerary, I've underlined the places where we stayed to sleep:

Costa Nova
Vila Nova de Milfontes
Castelo de Vide

More to come about all these fantastic places.... at some point. Let's hope for sooner rather than later.

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