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They say you’ll know for sure when you’re in love – when you both feel the other was made for each other. Here Love can be love of people, love of life, love of a piece of land, or love of a land. I still remember the moment I stepped out of the train station onto the Champs-Élysées in Paris, I knew I was in love with Paris. And this time, I know I’ve fallen in love with traveling to Portugal . Every day that passes makes me love this place more, as if I was born for Paris.
As I strolled down the streets of Lisbon to a friend’s house, I felt the same feeling run down my spine. Immediately I knew I was in love with the city of Lisbon. And most of all, I realized I had fallen in love with Portugal.
I spent two weeks exploring Portugal, learning about the city of Lisbon, the city of Porto and the wine capital Douro Valley, to love this country even more.
First, let’s talk about Lisbon tourism .
I was taking a leisurely stroll down the street to visit a friend’s apartment, and I couldn’t help but look at the ruined houses, graffiti and abandoned buildings everywhere. Half of the buildings have been abandoned for so long that the windows are gone, just empty doorways that look like a haven for smokers or thieves. But unlike Naples in Italy with a similar appearance, Lisbon did not make me feel disgusted or unsafe at all. I thought Naples was pretty hideous, but what about Lisbon? I only see an ancient beauty, seductive and longing. The city of Lisbon is many years old, with an interesting depth and history.
I spent four days exploring the city of Lisbon, and all the winding cobblestone streets leading to rows of cafes and churches and squares only made me fall more in love with the land. The city of Lisbon is historic, has depth, and seems to have its own character.
The city of Lisbon is located on a hill, so you can climb to the top for a chance to see the whole city with its characteristic red brick roofs. The old Alfama area is like a maze of small and winding streets, and if you head to the area between the Fado Museum and the Portuguese Art Museum, you can avoid the noisy tourist crowds of Lisbon and get to the typical local neighborhoods, with women sitting outside shaving their husbands, men engrossed in painting, and white-haired old ladies chatting all day.
I left Lisbon and moved north to Porto, a city beside the Douro river with a famous wine port. Although I am not as passionate about Porto as I have been with Lisbon, I still find Porto to be a wonderfully beautiful city with very cheap glasses of wine and beautiful waterfront. The whole area around the river is ravishingly beautiful with extremely worthwhile corners, such as crossing the river and going to the Yeatman hotel, sitting down and having a drink in the bar, sitting on the terrace and admiring the panorama.
My favorite place is the Douro valley area, with thousands of meters high mountains and wineries that I absolutely love. Although it was only two days to explore this place, I have to admit it was very beautiful. The winery is located on the highest hill with winding car roads. Different from the wineries I’ve been to, sitting from here and looking around is truly an enchanting landscape.
Not only the natural landscape of the country is very beautiful, but the people here are also very friendly, warm and always welcoming to everyone. Travel in Portugal’s experience alone, many people took the time to help me, just let me see real local life is and also how I see their culture as well.
I remember one evening it was quite late, the restaurant was closed, and I rushed over to have dinner in Lisbon. It was a nice little shop with only three tables in all, and the lady who owned the restaurant served me a four course meal with matching wine. The food and wine were both delicious, but what I miss most is the high-class charm and interesting stories with the hostess.
Traveling to Portugal has captivated me, infatuated me without stopping. It’s also rare that I really have such deep feelings for a country like this. I like most of the countries I visit, but there are only a few that I love as deeply as this (France, Cambodia, and Sweden, for example). And during my two weeks here, I really loved what I saw and what I went through.