Friday, April 05, 2013

A-Z Blog Challenge - E = Exploring and Eclectic Scenery

Taken from Wikipedia
Feel like coming on a journey with me? Let's go from the north of Portugal right down to the south in thirty seconds (warning: don't ever try doing this in real life, it'll make your head spin).


When people think of holidaying in Portugal they think of the Algarve, but that's only a tiny, weeny strip right at the southern end. True, it gets the best weather, doesn't necessarily have the best beaches but the sea in the east does get mixed up with the Mediterranean so the water's a bit warmer. Anyway, it's full of tourists, so let's start in the north.



image taken from www.morguefile.com
Lush, green and mountainous, the north is fascinating for its tiny villages that date back hundreds of years and yummy for its food (it'll stick to the cockles of your innards).


Onto the north-east for a spot of exercise and hiking after all that food. And where better than the National Park of Gerês, a protected area where wolves still roam, but don't worry, I'll protect you.
from www.ferias.pt

Time for a spot of culture and plenty of port wine tasting in Porto (or Oporto which foreigners for some reason call it). If there's time, we can whizz along the Douro River on a boat cruise and see the huge vineyards that run along the banks where they catch the most sun to ripen their delicious grapes.

from www.portugaltours.com


Time for a change of scenery further south but still north of Lisbon. The area of Ribatejo where the best cattle and Lusitano horses are bred.

The scenery is getting drier and the weather warmer now, but we're going to skip over Lisbon, because there's enough about Lisbon on this blog to fill a book, and hop over the River Tagus down to the Alentejo.
Here it's hot and dry with a Mediterranean climate. It's mostly agricultural with a spot of mineral mining, marble quarrying and carpet-making going on. But it's spectacularly beautiful at all times of the year with its rolling plains, pine forests, cork and olive trees dotting the low hills.

above photos from http://pinterest.com/sueroebuck/my-novels/
visitportugal.com

And this is where we're going to stop for a while because THIS is where my new novel is set. The Algarve can wait, it's not going anywhere.














16 comments:

  1. Hi, Susan,

    Portugal sounds and looks to be a country with varied landscapes. Like the idyllic scenes, especially since I could use a vacation right now.

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  2. Maybe some day I'll visit your lovely country. And by the way :D don't bother pestering me about my little vamp story. I wrote it years ago and have never been inspired to write another. Am sorry your stories are not included in the challenge

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  3. I love that first picture.It looks like a secret grotto. I'll give the port a miss if you don't mind but the rest looks great.

    Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain

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  4. Loving the location of where your novel is set. I so wish I could be there for real right now!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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  5. Beautiful! I'm dying to go there!

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    1. Just wanted to pop back in real quick because I forgot to tell you that your email address isn't visible. Whenever I get a comment from you it says "noreply@blogger.com" Maybe I told you wrong on my blog, but it would be awesome to have email conversations with you :)

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  6. For a little country, JL, it is varied. OK, Sue if you insist LOL. Rosalind - I'm not keen on port either, shhhhh. I'm taking a trip down there next week Laura for research purposes of course! Thanks JA

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  7. Wow, what an amazing variety!

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  8. What a wonderful setting for a novel! I absolutely love the photos. I think the little white house with the blue door may be my favorite. Love it!

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  9. I must admit that the north looks more my kind of thing than the south. I'd love to book a flight

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  10. Does look like there's a lot going on in the country. Yeah, definitely a lot more than the Algarve. I forgot when I was here earlier, me and my friends had a holiday in Portugal once and were driving around the mountains in the north. Bit hair-raising but fun!

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  11. I so wanted to visit Portugal the last time I was in Europe, but there just wasn't time in my schedule. A river boat cruise sounds like heaven. I'm thinking I need another vacation and soon!

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  12. Such lovely images. I'd like to see all of this, except for the areas where the wolves are.

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  13. I've only ever been to Sagres and the surrounding area but I loved the rugged coastline. Portugal really does punch above its weight in terms of beautiful countryside. Thanks for sharing this Sue.I'm really enjoying this series of blogs

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  14. @Alex - for a little country, the scenic and climate differences is amazing. @Julie - I have that little cottage already in the book! Get that flight booked @Elin. @Nick I can just imagine what your driving experience was - poor you. @Rechelle - the boat river cruise from Porto is certainly relaxing. @Cynthia, to tell you the truth, I think all the wolves are in reserves now - but they are there - and the Iberian lynx :-)

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  15. It's so lovely to find this theme on your blog! I'm a first-generation American of Portuguese immigrants. I haven't been to Portugal in over 20 years and I hardly remember anything but my parents' village, Fermentelos. Though I vaguely recall being a little bit in love with Coimbra. I'd love to spend some time in Lisbon in June, with all the saints' feasts and whatnot. Maybe some day!
    Some Dark Romantic

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