Sorry. I, well, I have no excuse. The thing is: I love research. In that respect, I’m weird and slightly geeky. I admit it. But I got sucked into a wonderful world on the Iberian peninsula, along with trying to decide what I want to do with a rather large milestone birthday coming up later in the year…and then suddenly I realized that lo and behold! NO POSTS!
Of course, as per me and research, I have a lot. And when I say a lot, I actually mean A LOT! So let me give you some tidbits to tide you over.
Portugal’s name is derived from the Romans, who relieved the Carthaginians from their beautiful vacation spot (please don’t comment or email me to say that the Carthaginians didn’t vacation there–they lived there. I know this, we all know this, but some how vacationing sounds more fun). Anyway, there was a city called Cale at the mouth of the Douro river. The Romans called this area Portus Cale, which evolved to Portucale, which eventually evolved to Portugal.
I’d like to interject at this point in time, all of my tidbits have been collected, compiled, and loosely translated from a plethora of websites found when I googled “portugal,” “history of portugal,” “port wine,” “things to do in portugal,” “things to eat in portugal,” “interesting facts about portugal,”…and well you get the idea. The point being: don’t use this as a source for your term paper or your Portuguese test. Okay? Okay. Continuing on…
The capitol is Lisbon (that you can use on a term paper). And there are 10.5 million people living in a country about the same size as the Texas Panhandle. It is the oldest European country, with its borders established in 1139.
Portugal is the world’s leading cork producer, contributing about 60% of cork used worldwide (this is important when we get to talking about my favorite thing I know of Portugal: port!).
Apparently The Pirate Code was created by the Portugese, specifically pirate Bartomolmeu Portugues (what? you can’t make this up…because in this day and age someone will call you out on it. google it. you’ll see…).
Other famous Portuguese include Henry the Navigator (where did he navigate? apparently every where), a whole slew of soccer/football players, and someone you might have heard of called Magellan.
Home of the Portuguese Water Dog (shocking, right?), who accompanied fisherman on boats to retrieve nets, guard the boat, and take messages between boats.
I could go on, but I suddenly had a soup inspiration! But before I go, let’s recap: Portugal is the oldest country in Europe, home of port and supplier of cork, soccer players, and pirates & explorers (there’s a fine line between the two), creator of The Pirate Code and a cute, fluffy hypoallergenic water dog. Whether by plane, train, or automobile, Portugal should definitely be on your travel itinerary!
Click on picture to see more great pics of Lisbon!