Portugal

Porto and Port - divine. Grilled sardines - Yum! Piri-Piri chicken which inspired the South African brand Nandos. Colourful tiles. The Portguese symbol of the Rooster and Fado music, sunshine and Algarve beaches... this provides just a sample of what there is to explore in this fantastic Mediterranean country.

THREE things that we did not know about Portugal:

  1. The. Rooster is a Portuguese symbol: According to the legend, a pilgrim was falsely accused of terrible crimes while he was passing by the city of Barcelos. The pilgrim went before the judge and pledged innocent. He told the judge that he was condemning an innocent man to death, and to prove it, a rooster would crow before he would be hanged. Just as the pilgrim was sent to the gallows, a rooster jumped up in front of the crowd and started crowing. The judge realised his mistake, and the pilgrim was saved.
  2. Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira, was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India by way of Cape of Good Hope was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and therefore, the West and the Orient.
  3. Lisbon has the oldest bookstore in the world: Bertrand was founded back in 1732, and it can be found on a shopping street in Chiado, Lisbon. The outside is covered with blue Azulejos, and the inside is beautifully decorated in a way that gives an old, classic feel to the store.

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