Category Archives: Portugal

The gin that changes color

In Monsaraz, one of my favorite Portuguese towns (a walled village atop a hill near the Spanish border — terribly romantic), a boutique gin manufacturer has set up shop. The gin is called Sharish, and it is worthy. I love … Continue reading

Posted in Portugal | 9 Comments

Portugal wildfire (we’re okay)

I’ve had quite a few emails from readers asking if we’re okay after learning of the horrific wildfire in central Portugal. So to start out: we are fine; we live a half-day’s drive from the area where this occurred. Nor … Continue reading

Posted in Portugal | 5 Comments

Dia da Liberdade (Freedom Day)

Last night, I was brushing my teeth when our flat was rocked with a deep BOOM. “Fletcher!” my wife called. “Come here! Fireworks!” I dashed down the hall and out to our smaller veranda, where Maria was already watching the … Continue reading

Posted in history, Portugal | 1 Comment

Nat Geo moment

I miss my Oregon birds, some quite desperately (such as Anna’s and rufous hummingbirds, and Swainson’s thrushes), but there are compensations in the fabulous birds of Iberia. One of my favorites is the European bee-eater, which winters in Africa but … Continue reading

Posted in Portugal, wildlife | Leave a comment

Strange weather

It’s been an odd winter in the Algarve this year. Mostly quite warm, and not enough rain, but then there was a week where it was unusually cold. I drove to my Pilates class in the morning and our car … Continue reading

Posted in Portugal, weather | 2 Comments

No good deed goes unpunished

I am recovering today from a misadventure. Yesterday, while cutting through the nearby park on my regular hill walk, I came across a curious sight: a whole pile of cute, fuzzy caterpillars on the sidewalk. Given their position, I thought … Continue reading

Posted in biology, Portugal | 25 Comments

Rain after drought = flood

After more than four months of summer drought, the Algarve has finally been getting its autumn rains. But less than two weeks of occasional squalls plus a day or two of light rain hasn’t been enough for the water to … Continue reading

Posted in Portugal, video, weather | 3 Comments

The strange invisibility of Rui Costa

As an American, I’m used to seeing my countryfolk focused on and featured in various international athletic events. Eurosport and British coverage of such events always make sure to put the camera on American competitors as well as those of … Continue reading

Posted in Portugal, sport | 2 Comments

Boa Páscoa

I love Easter in Portugal. Our tradition of many years now is to attend the Festa das Tochas in São Brás, followed by the Mãe Soberana Pequena here in Loulé. Wall-to-wall pageantry, music, beauty…what’s not to like? I’ve written about … Continue reading

Posted in culture, Portugal | 4 Comments

Oranges to excess (or, “Orange you done yet?”)

Although the Algarve doesn’t really have a winter (it just goes straight from autumn to spring), we call the oranges that ripen this time of year “winter oranges,” and they are the sweetest of all the varieties. I adore winter … Continue reading

Posted in food, Portugal, science | 4 Comments