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Portugal: What Say We, DL?

A close friend is going there for business, but he will also have some time for sightseeing and more carnal pursuits. I know that the DL has traveled pretty widely, but I don't hear much about Portugal. Has anyone been? What should he see, and what is gay life like there?

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 1701/01/2013

The inhabitants prefer to be called "Portugee" not "Portuguese".

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 112/30/2012

The Bairro Alto is a lot of fun at night, street after street of bars, clubs and restaurants. Wall to wall people in the streets. Lisbon reminds me a bit of San Fransisco in that you're always walking up and down steep hills(the bridge is even the same designer of the Golden Gate)

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 212/31/2012

I was going to post about the Barrio Alto r2. It's like the French Quarter but more going on. Oh, and drugs are legal. I wish I knew that when we went.

I love Lisbon.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 312/31/2012

If you travel to Fatima, you are sure to run into a gaggle of Portugeese.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 412/31/2012

Yes I forgot to mention about the drug thing, small amounts are legal,so it seemed every 10 steps there was someone selling on the street..They just walk up to you and say "Coke? Hash? Weed?" It gets annoying after awhile.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 512/31/2012

I have an 8-inch dick and prefer hairy brutes who take it up the ass.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 612/31/2012

Interesting.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 712/31/2012

Waiting for the usual idiots to post: "It's sooooo Catholic".

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 812/31/2012

Lisbois a great city with plenty of culinary delights and great cheap wine. It's like all the old historic charming european towns with their ancient little buildings, but magnified (so you get 10 story ancient residential buildings painted in wild colors).

But, as said before, the best thing is the partying at Barrio Alto - and gay is way OK.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 912/31/2012

I like Portugal quite a bit. However, I found their infrastructure a bit dysfunctional, things like waiting in line for tickets, etc. are handled about as poorly as possible. As for Catholic-bashing predicted, it's countries where they've had "competition" (USA, Ireland, etc.) where their influence seems to be the most pernicious. Near-monopoly states like Portugal and Spain have been able to drop the Church pretty much wholesale.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 1012/31/2012

Lisbon is a wonderful city. The gay scene was not very extensive and half of the guys in the bars had wedding rings on.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 1112/31/2012

Frank Bruni, the uber-gay columnist for the Times, likes Lisbon a lot.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 1212/31/2012

I had a great time in Northern Portugal this past summer. Porto is a beautiful city with interesting riverside and seaside neighborhoods, and it makes a reasonable home base for visiting the region (try to get a hotel with parking, and watch speed limits on the toll roads).

Vinho Verde is heaven to drink, especially the Alvarinho variety from Moncao and Melgaco (which is similar to Spanish Albarino, but with an even more pronounced tropical fruit aroma). The Aveleda winery near Amarante has a lovely tour of their landscaped grounds, including a little tower with pygmy goats looking out from the top. Blue hydrangeas were everywhere - there's an Azores connection, apparently. I only spent a few hours in the city of Amarante but would have loved to see more.

Vila Real is beautifully situated, but a bit boring for more than a day. The Mateus estate is nearby and worth a visit. More exciting sightseeing can be found in Braga, both in the town center and the nearby, jaw-dropping Bom Jesus de Monte (see link). There are wonderfully preserved historic city centers and Roman ruins everywhere. I did not enjoy touring Guimaraes that much but really liked smaller old towns, especially Ponte de Lima and the castle at Melgaco.

A Douro river boat tour is a must-do (the farther east, the better), but I also liked waterside sightseeing in the northwest coast and Minho regions. Restaurante Casa das Velhas, near Vila Nova de Cerveira, has spectacular Minho river views - a great lunch stop, and probably my favorite meal of the trip.

If there is one problem with this region, it's that there is not a lot of culinary variety - in most cities Italian is basically the only reliable alternative when you need a change (although Vila Real had a great African lunch place). I enjoyed the regional cooking, but fish, sausage and potatoes at nearly every meal can get tiresome. We kept trying to go to Thai restaurants and finding them closed or out of business! The upside is that breakfast is consistently amazing: endless varieties of pastry everywhere, along with delicious meia de leite (the local cappuccino variant). Best bakery: Pastelaria Gomes in Vila Real.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 1312/31/2012

The Azores are cool, way cooler than the Caribbean or even the Canaries or Balearics.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 1412/31/2012

[R13] I went to Portugal with my folks a couple of years ago, but we went south to Faro instead. My dad's 80th birthday was at a Chinese restaurant where they were thrilled because the fried apples reminded them of McDonald's pies! Portugal has a bakery on every block - kind of like Thai restaurants in Seattle!

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 1501/01/2013

Plus they have fado -- the Portuguese blues.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 1601/01/2013

[quote]small amounts are legal,so it seemed every 10 steps there was someone selling on the street..They just walk up to you and say "Coke? Hash? Weed?" It gets annoying after awhile.

Is Miss Dionne aware of this? She must be looking for retirement options.

by The Caftans of Lisbonreply 1701/01/2013
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