Thursday, January 08, 2009


It is an adventure going to the grocery store, here on the southern shores of Portugal. In the United States, we may have 40 different kinds of dishwashing soap. In the stores here, maybe 10 different kinds at the most.

On the other hand, if you are looking for wine, the choices are overwhelming. Imagine an isle in a large American supermarket running the full length of the store. Well, here I saw different kinds of Portuguese wine indicated by region the entire length of the aisle. Various Port wines lined half the next.

My daughter and I finally resorted to choosing wine based on the looks of its label. It then became a contest to see who could find the better wine. The first two bottles, she won—it seems she knew that in Europe that the years 2005 and 2007 were good years for wine. Unfortunately, for me I didn’t know that and chose a bottle from 2006.

Like cheese? Well this is the place to come. Again, the deli is piled with cheeses from all over Europe. Our evening meal normally consists of wine, cheese, and hard salami that is sliced very thin.

Now for the truly outstanding treat. In December and January, the trees are covered with ripe oranges and lemons. Families pick their fruit and bag them in ten-pound bags. As soon you leave the city proper, you can start seeing piles of fresh oranges at the end of driveways waiting for someone like me to stop and make a purchase. The bag with at least 30 oranges costs two Euro or almost $3. Now if you really want to start your morning out right, have a glass of Portugal’s freshly squeezed orange juice.


If you travel a great deal, start a file system where you can put restaurant cards, articles and attraction ideas. Since I live in the United States, I have broken up the country into regions. When I am heading to a specific region, I pull out the file.

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