Sunday, September 6, 2009

Music from the Andes...


Photo by myself.


Yesterday I went to the downtown. I heard a strange music and saw a small crowd ahead. It was a group of musicians from Peru. One, was wearing some feathers "western style". I think they tried to give some kind of "ethnic glamour". Despite of the nonsense, they played quite well!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to work!

Photos by myself.

"Vila Campina" - A great hotel (only 8 rooms). You must book in advance if you want to stay there. Super friendly and professional staff! We loved it, and we will return.


A traditional boat. This photo was taken in the "Parque Natural da Ria Formosa" (a national park), witch has one of the best family beaches of the world (according the Condé Nast Travel magazine).



My holidays are over (at least until the end of September). We went to the south of Portugal (Algarve). It is a very popular summer destination in Europe, with great beaches, warm waters and lots of seafood and fresh fish. This region has a lot of moorish influences (starting by the name "Al garve"). I'm feeling a little bit depressed to be back again and start working...Do you also feel the same? Where did you went on your holidays?


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Salamanca

Photos by myself.
This is Salamanca's main square (Plaza Mayor). If you know Venice and it's main square (St. Mark), you will find a lot of resemblances. If you want to have a nice (and expensive) breakfast, a lunch or just watch the crowds, this is the place to be. There are lots of small coffee shops, and you will watch the people choosing different spots according the hour (the sun and the heat will literally melt you down), always looking for the shadow.


Here, you can see my son, watching the river Douro (the spanish call it "Duero"), on the bathroom window. Even he (he's just 3), was amazed by the beauty and the serenity of the hotel.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A long weekend


Photo by myself.

We went for a few days to Salamanca, Spain. We've found a wonderful hotel, named "Hacienda Zorita". It's located near the city of Salamanca, and it's known both for it's wine production and for being the place where Colombo slept before going to Madrid ask for the navy fleet to the Queen Isabela. I took this photo inside a little church, and as you can see, there are a lot of wine barrels inside!!! It's an old tradition of the Dominicans monks. The hotel also has a great restaurant with 2 stars of the Michelin Guide (yummy!!!). If you can can, you should try this!


Monday, August 10, 2009

The big green wall



Photo by myself.

This photo was taken near the sport center (Palácio de Cristal - "Crystal Palace). The gardeners made a natural fence, using granite blocks and plants. It worked just fine. You can see behind the plants part of the sport center building (it looks like an UFO!).

Friday, August 7, 2009

Another foggy friday


Photo by myself.

It's friday! This is August and the weather sucks! How is this possible? At least today is friday (only 1 more week at the clinic!). I hope you have a terrific weekend, with an excellent weather and good company (I know I will, at least the company part). Enjoy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Another sunset...


Photo by myself.

This is a strange (although beautiful sunset). During the summer months it's normal to watch sunsets like this one, with a purple and orange mist.

I will work until the 14th of August, then I'll take 2 weeks of holiday. I don't know yet, where are we going to, but I would like to make a road trip to the french atlantic coast. Let's wait and see... And you? Are you on holiday? Where are you going to?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The fishermen's club


Photo by myself.

This photo was taken near a jetty. During the XIX century, this jetty was used by the sailors to unload the boats. Nowadays is used mostly by fishermen (and tourists). During the summer months it is normal to see some kids jumping from there to the sea. Since the summer is away on holiday, the kids choose (wisely) to stay at home. So I can only offer a photo of the fishermen club.

Today at midnight GMT +0, we will watch a partial eclipse of the moon. I think it can be see in all regions of the world. Enjoy!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The last Macho Man!

Photo by myself.

I went for a walk, a few days ago. I saw this "specimen" sleeping with his speedos on. This is probably the lost link of the evolution of man. He doesn't need a pillow ( the shoes will do fine) or a towel (the granite is soft enough for him).

Friday, July 31, 2009

Fast food - Porto's style


Photo by myself.

When I want to eat something delicious without thinking about calories or fat, I ask for a "Francesinha" and a cold beer ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesinha ) This is a kind of hot sandwich, with two slices of fresh bread, a slice of ham, a steak (veal), two or three different types of cold meats, lots of cheese, a extremely spicy hot sauce (to melt the cheese) and an egg on top. If you want I can leave a recipe of it!

Guess who's coming?


Photo by myself.

Ok. It's July. The sky is blue and it's hot outside. I go to the balcony and guess who's coming? FOG! The fog and the north wind are always present during the summer months. Maybe that's the reason why are so many english living in the city (lol). Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

An old woman.


Photo by myself.

The beach is always a popular destination among the elders. I saw this old lady doing hers "hygienic morning walk". It's quite normal to see the elders, during the morning, walking or running by the beach. I think it's never to late to get fit...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Old town


Photo by myself.

You can see here an ancient square. We call it the "Lion's Square" for obvious reasons. A few years ago it was a very busy commercial area. Nowadays, it's used essentially by students (there's a medical college and the university central services near by).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Two cities, one bridge.

Photo by myself.

The story of Porto is full of episodes related to the sea, the river, and the bridges. When this bridge was build, lots of people from everyplace in the world, came to see the bridge collapse during the inauguration day! As you can see, that didn't happen! In the XIX century, during the Napoleonic invasions, the french army was halted in the city, by the destruction of the "ponte das barcas" (a bridge made of several boats linked together). To feed the portuguese and the english army, the people of Porto ate the animal's (cows) guts, giving the meat to the soldiers. That's why today, we are known as the "Tripeiros" (or gut eater), and we are proud of it!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Porto by night


Photo by myself.

I took this photo yesterday. With a night like this, I'm sure we are going to have a glorious weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The old customs house


Photo by myself.

The big building on the left side of the river, is the old customs house. Nowadays is very popular convention centre. On the right side of the river lies the city of Vila Nova de Gaia. The two cities are separated by the river Douro. This area is very popular among the tourists since they can go to the wine cellars for FREE port wine proofs! Do you know Port wine? Do you like it? Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A different McDonalds

Photo by myself.

I'm back and feeling good (thanks for your concern guys:). This is a photo of the first McDonalds in Porto. They used an ancient coffee shop (we call it a "Café"), named "Imperial". It was a very controversial option, since the Café was one of the city's ex-libris. How stupid can this decision be?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Flu (not the H1N1 type!)

Photo by myself.

I'm ill. I have some kind of flu. I will post more photos tomorrow if I feel fine at the moment. I'm posting a photo of some palm trees. It's hard to believe the photo was taken here, in Porto.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Porto Bike Tour 2009


Photo by myself (iphone photo).

I took some photos to the "Porto Bike Tour 2009" (http://biketour.sapo.pt/content.php?contentid=3559). It was a very hot day, but everybody was very happy with the event (probably for getting a bicycle for 50€!). Anyway, for 1 day in the year we could use the freeway, cross the main bridge (Arrábida) and having a great time! I also made a short video, while I was driving in the opposite direction (sorry for the lousy quality, but I used a photo camera!).

video

Saturday, July 18, 2009

An Original Library

"Free Internet Wireless, Here"




Photos by myself.

Today I went to a park near the downtown. It's quite ancient, it was made in the early XIX century. A few years ago, the city hall approved some renovations. The photos show a public library. The architect made a wood barrier to give some isolation (heat and sound). As you can see, the building is surrounded by trees, and the wood barrier hides the building. I think it is a clever way to merge with the nature. What do you think about this? Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Meditation...


Photo by myself. Today I went for a walk near the beach. I saw a this man sitting against the wood fence. Who do you think he might be? A poet looking for inspiration? An artist? A drunken man with a big hangover?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Aliens???




Photos by myself.
Today I went to the City Hall. I saw dozens of plastic men standing on the middle of the avenue. Aliens maybe? No, it's just a public art exposition made by a few artist. The goal is to make an auction and raise money for the homeless. That's a great and fun idea!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The iBar

Photo by myself using my iphone!
Ok, this is NOT a joke! I've found a bar named "i Bar"! Maybe Steve Jobs is trying to diversify...
What do you think will be next? An i Wife 3.0 s? An i Husband 2.0? Or maybe an i Muffin(lol)

Monday, July 13, 2009

An original restaurant

Photo by myself, using my IPhone.
We, me and my wife, went to a restaurant, for lunch. It's a very interesting place, with wonderful food and great wines. But the most interesting thing about it is the grocery. The restaurant has a little grocery with "gourmet" food and ingredients. You can buy italian pastas, greek cheese, wine from New Zealand, butter cookies from UK, etc...

Friday, July 10, 2009

The fishermen's angel


Everybody have their own superstitions. My country (most part of the population is catholic) has strong believes regarding the divine protection. The fishermen are probably the most devoted. A few years ago, a portuguese artist made this statue to protect the fishermen. What do you think about this? Does the religion have a place in a world full of blogs, myspace, twitter, etc... ? Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The smallest beach in the world...


Photos by my self. You can see here two jetties or breakwaters. The one on the right, is the oldest. Last year the harbor authorities builded a new one, wider and longer. The space left between then, made a very small and strange beach. This is a very popular place to the fishermen. In the summer, it is normal to see old folks, with their speedos (yes, in Europe it's normal to wear speedos! lol) extremely tanned. During the winter months it's an excellent place to get killed by the raging waves!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fishermen and seagulls

Photo by myself. A small fishing boat chased by seagulls. In Porto, there are 2 fishing harbors. The city is known for the restaurants, the wine, the soccer team (F.C.Porto) and of course for the fresh fish and seafood.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A face on the ground

Photo by myself (I used my iphone).

Yesterday, I went to a street full of art galleries. I took my son with me. They made a pedestrian street, with lots of smiley faces on the pavement. You can see two shadows (myself and my son) and a smiley face. There's no need to say that the real fun of the walk was looking for the faces on the ground. That's the only form of art my son appreciates.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday at last!


Friday! Finally! I had a crazy week. Too much work. I'm thinking about changing my profession. Did you know that dentists have the highest suicide rate among the health care providers? It's a very demanding job. We have to deal everyday, with lots of complains from frighten patients. And in the end all the success and failure are your responsibility. The patients don't care if they don't have a good hygiene. It's never their fall. So, I think I can say this is a very stressful job. I took this photo in one of my "Zen moments". You can see the river (Douro), the Atlantic Ocean, and the south border of the city. Happy weekend everybody!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The bridge


This is the "Ponte da Arrábida" (Arrábida's bridge -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrábida_Bridge). This bridge is used by thousands of people, everyday, to cross the Douro river. Like most bridges, it's a place of big traffic jams, but at least we have a great view!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

An original bar...

This bar, was made on top of a rock, very close to the sea. During the summer months, it's always crowed... everybody wants the same, a drink on the rocks on a cold spot.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July, a month full of events!




On July, the city is full of public events. We had, a few days ago, the opening of the Sea Life (I didn't visit it yet). During this month, we are going to have the WTCC ( World Touring Car Championship) and the Porto's Historical Grand Prix (with cars from the 60's, 70's, etc). The streets are full of fences and tires, and for a few kilometers you may think you are driving on a race circuity. Obviously, the traffic is a mess with all the construction going on.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Other places...


Today, I was looking for a new photo to post, and I found some photos of my last trip to NYC. This photo was taken in central park, on January 2008. NYC is one of my favorite holiday destinations. Where do you like to go on your holidays? Have a nice Sunday!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Morning's mist



The morning's mist is one of the city trade marks. I think it is quite beautiful and makes a perfect mix with the seaside views. Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Food...


This is "Arroz de marisco", or seafood and rice. It's a delicious plate, that can be find in all seaside cities. If you come to Portugal, you have to try it. It is also a very healthy, since all the ingredients are boiled in hot water with olive oil.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm back!

I'm back. I had a wonderful holidays. I'm posting some photos from the south side of Portugal (Algarve). It's a very popular summer destination, since it's normal to have temperatures above the 30ºC and a hot and peaceful sea.

Low tide. A man is using the low tide to cross from a small island to the main land. He is selling sodas and cookies.


When the tide is higher, we can use a fisherman boat to cross to the islands (it's a fast and cheap ride, 1€ per person a two way ride).


Some fishermen looking for seafood .


My beach!!!