Portugal Travel

Portugal is a southern European country bordering Spain. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced it's tourist attraction - to the beaches, this in turn has played a role in their diet; salty cod fish and grilled sardines are national dishes.

Portuguese is the spoken language, which is related to Galician language, spoken in northwestern Spain.

The kingdom of Portugal lasted some 800 years, from 1139 to 1910.

The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, signed in 1373, is the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force.

Since 1910, the country has been a republic.

The modern democratic republic was founded in 1976.

The first Pirate code was invented in the 17th century by the Portuguese buccaneer Bartolomeu Português.

The modern Portuguese legal system has been influenced primarily by German law.

Due to the influence of Roman Catholicism, Portugal is one of the most socially conservative countries in Europe.

Portugal is the only country in the EU, along with Spain, where life imprisonment has been abolished.

The Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is the longest bridge in Europe with 17,185 m/56,381 feet.

From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles.

Just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril.

The Jeronimos Monastery was built in 1502 by order of King Manuel I. It was built to commemorate Vasco Da Gama’s voyage and to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for its success.

Great figures in Portuguese history are also entombed here, like King Manuel and King Sebastião, and poets Fernando Pessoa and Alexandre Herculano.

Jeronimos Monastery Cloisters was populated by monks of the Order of Saint Jerome , whose spiritual job was to give guidance to sailors and pray for the king’s soul.

UNESCO has classified it a World Heritage monument. This style of architecture became known as Manueline, a style of art that served to glorify the great discoveries of the age.

Each column is carved with coils of rope, sea monsters, coral, and other sea motifs. It portraits an era of sea exploration and the Biblical story of Joseph.

The Tower of Belém is typical of the Manueline style of architecture. The four-story tower was created in the shape of a ship’s bow jutting into the water.

The main side of the fortress faces the sea and is completely different from the side impression of the tower. Built from ivory-white limestone, the real beauty of the structure lies in the decoration of the exterior.

The Pena National Palace was built in the 19th century by Atlantic Ocean , the palace was meant to be a summer home for the Portuguese royals.

Ferdinand’s taste was imposed on the builders and designers, the result was a Palace that looks like it has a little of all the other palaces of the era.

One portion caters to a medieval European castle, a portion of it is modeled after an Islamic tower dome. It’s full of colors – there is a purple wing, a red clock tower, a lots of yellow ornaments.

King Ferdinand said he wanted the palace to look like an opera.

It is now seen as one of the grandest examples of Romantic architecture.

Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city.

Porto’s Church
The Sao Francisco Church looks like an ordinary 14th century Gothic and Baroque construction.
There is a museum housed in the catacombs below consisting of artifacts from the former monastery.

Praça do Comércio is a large square on the banks of the River Tagus in Lisbon. It was built on the site previously occupied by the Palace Yard following its destruction in the 1755 earthquake. Lisboetas often still use the previous name for the square.

Along with the Arco da Rua Augusta at its northern end, the Praça do Comércio is one of the centerpieces of the redevelopment of the Portuguese capital by the Marquis of Pombal in the mid-18th century.

The U-shaped square, open at the Tagus end, was designed by Portuguese architect, Eugénio dos Santos.

Discover the best of Portugal’s capital on this hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Lisbon. Choose from four different routes, all offering opportunities to see the city’s monuments and explore its charming neighborhoods. An option line to Cascais allows you to explore the magic of that town as well. Tickets can be purchased for 24- or 48- hours.


Hop on a double-decker bus at the Lisbon Terminal in Marquês de Pombal Square. Settle in and cruise through Lisbon on one of four different but equally engaging sightseeing lines, including lines to Belém, Oriente, Castle or the charming beach town of Cascais.

Sunbathe on one of the many sandy beaches along the Cascais Line. Catch the best coastline views before settling onto a beach to unwind.

On the western side of the square is the main Lisbon Tourist Office (Turismo) with a stylish shop selling upmarket craft items from all over Portugal.

On this side of the square is the HQ of Viniportugal, which promotes Portuguese wine. There are tastings Monday through Saturday.

The world-famous Porto wine is a sweet Portuguese fortified wine from the Douro Valley, Portugal.
Over half of the world’s cork is produced in Portugal.

Salvador Vilar Braamcamp Sobral is a Portuguese singer and a former psychology student. He represented Portugal in
the Eurovision Song Contest this past May and gave Portugal its first win since their debut in 1964. Below is a video of the winning song for your enjoyment.

Portugal has great hotels, motels, car rentals, tours and restaurants.

Have a great time in Portugal, let me know all about your trip.

Luxembourg Travel

Luxembourg is bordered by Belgium, Germany and France. Luxembourg is split into two regions Eisleck in the North and Gutland in the south.
Eisleck is a region of hills, valleys and forests. Gutland is the urban region where 85% of the population live.

Luxembourg is a trilingual country – they speak German, French and Luxembourgish.

As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is headed by a Grand Duke, Henri Albert Gabriel Felix Marie Guillaume. Henri, and is the world’s only remaining grand duchy. Luxembourg is a developed country, with an advanced economy. Luxembourg is also one of the richest and smallest sovereign states in Europe, in 2012 Luxembourg had a population of 524,853

Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, and Benelux.

In 2016 Luxembourgish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 172 countries and territories, ranking the Luxembourgian passport 6th in the world, tied with countries such as Canada and Switzerland.

The Notre-Dame is the only cathedral of Luxembourg City. It’s a Roman Catholic Church, originally Jesuit. It’s cornerstone was laid in 1613. The church has a gothic architecture with Renaissance adornments.

Late in the 18th century, the church received the image of Maria Consolatrix Afflictorum, the patron saint of Luxembourg.

The cemetery of the cathedral is the National Monument to the Resistance and to the Deportation. The centerpiece of the monument is the famous bronze monument by the 20th century Luxembourgish sculptor Lucien Wercollier called The Political Prisoner.

Luxembourg National Museum of History and Art has a large archaeological collection, they house objects discovered during excavations like: sarcophaguses, tools, coins, jewels, and grave markers. The most outstanding objects being found in the excavations at Dalheim and Titelberg.

The museum has a wide range of Luxembourgish paintings dating back to the 18th century. You can enjoy paintings by Joseph Kutter, Dominique Lang, Eugène Mousset, Jean-Pierre Beckius, Nico Klopp and Auguste Trémont as well as sculptures by Auguste Trémont and Lucien Wercollier.

The museum also houses a collection of contemporary art.

The Groussherzogleche Palais, is a palace in Luxembourg City, it’s the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and where he performs most of his duties as head of state of the Grand Duchy.

Under the supervision of Charlotte, Grand Duchess the palace was redecorated during the 1960s. Charlotte reign as Grand Duchess of Luxembourg from 1919 to 1964.

It was thoroughly restored between 1991 and 1996. The interior of the Palace has been regularly renovated to match modern tastes and standards of comfort.

The Palace today is the official residence of the Grand Duke, and is used by him to exercise his official functions. He and the Grand Duchess, together with their staff, have their offices at the palace, and the state rooms on the first floor are used for a variety of meetings and audiences.

On Christmas Eve, the Grand Duke’s Christmas message is broadcast from the Yellow Room.

Luxembourg is a small country with a huge history, a great country to travel to, it’s small town atmosphere makes a great country to visit when you want to tour and rest on your vacation.

You deserve a rest, go ahead and see Luxembourg. Let me know how your trip went.

Did you see Vianden?

Luxembourg has 100 castles and fortresses – 75 of them date back to the middle ages. Most are open to the public.

Norway Travel

Norway is a great place to travel to, it’s an indescribable beauty that is rarely seen. It’s making contact – with nature.

It’s not unusual to see the guests aboard a ship walk out on deck in the middle of a cold winter night; to catch a glimpse of how the sea brushes upon the fjords.

This ranks as one of natures most interesting experience – especially when it’s 12:00 a.m. and the sun is shinning as bright as it does on any afternoon.

Unlike many countries, this is one of the things that makes Norway a great winter getaway.

In the late 19th century the coast line from Bergen to Kirkenes was a busy route for all sort of ships.

Norway is a great place to take a cruise. A popular route is Bergen to Kirkenes.

 One of the exciting things about visiting Norway  is being able to take a picture of the sea at 3:00 a.m. without a flash.

In the last few centuries the North Pole has became synonymous with Santa Claus, reindeers, vikings, trolls, salmon and cod fish.

Norway is famous for it’s different types of excursions:

There are ski expeditions, dog sledding, kayaking, birdwatching, snowmobile trips, sea eagle safari, mountain hikes, whale watching, sailing to Geiranger fjord, and naturally fishing in Lofoten – a great place to catch cod.

As you approach the coasts of Norway you might see penguins – they are very communicative – lots of noise in their area.

You may also see Polar bears – they are the opposite – no noise in their area- loners, quiet types – serious – very family oriented. You can see that in the interaction they have with their youngs.

Walrus – on the other hand are very observant –  as you approach them – you get the feeling – that they are the ones doing the sight seeing. Besides that – they have great teeth. One glance and you find yourself smiling at them.

Reindeers are and always have been magestic animals – they are a large part of the Norwegian culture. Up north it’s not unusual to see reindeers running thru the mountains in all colors. The white ones – are the most unusual and – photographed ones.

Visiting a Sami Camp in Honningsvag, Norway, (The North Cape) is a great way to learn about them.

Norway is one of those countries you just want to visit in the winter, summer, spring and fall.

Each season in Norway is an indescribable experience. From skiing to sailing.

Seeing the fjords covered in snow as you ski – it’s an incredible experience; then seeing them completely green – as you fish or sail is awesome.

This type of experience can only be matched by seeing the fjords in  transition (spring and fall).

Then when is it best to visit Norway? I’ll let you figure that one out.

Below are some must see places while your there:

Bergen was founded in 1070 AD,  was the capital of Norway. It’s a colorful city that has retained the history of Norway.

Enjoy a trip on the Floibannen Funicular during your visit to Bergen and see all of Bergen.

This exciting trip up to the mountain is a magnificent experience in itself. Mount Fløyen, it’s approximately 320 metres above sea level.

From above you can enjoy the cityscape, the seaward, and the fjords surrounding Bergen.

The arctic circle marks the border to the Arctic region. During the summer months they have 24 hour sunlight.

This is what is referred to as the midnight sun.

The charm of the Lofoten islands are the small fishing villages with granite cliffs and white sand beaches.

You will find lots of fish racks and traditional fishermens huts.

Great place to try a fish cake.

The Northern Cape
The Northern Cape is the northern most point of the planet. A popular place for the snowmobile tours. There you will see the Sami people grazing reindeers.

Near the top, there is a exciting nature reserve called Gjesvaer Tappan. Great place for bird watching.

The Seven Sisters
When in Norway crossing the Arctic Circle on a ship is an important part of the experience.

Most tours celebrate it by asking all the passengers to meet on deck and there ritual begins. Here’s a tip: wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet during the ceremony.

Along the way you will pass the Seven Sisters.

The seven sisters are beautiful mountains that have influenced social myths, according to some Norwegian folk tales – trolls are turned to stone if they do not hide before the sun rises.

This was the case with the seven sisters – at least they are still beautiful. See for yourself.

Oslo is the capital of Norway, the winter capital of the world. A multicultural city with modern architecture, a sculpture park named Vigeland, a Royal Palace, a Nobel Peace Center, Museums, and home to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump.

Clearly there is so much to do and see in Norway – below is a video that Expedia put together it features some of the most amazing places in Oslo.

Have a safe trip. Let me know all about it…