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coimbra: portugal dos pequenitos

Portugal, Coimbra, Portugal dos Pequenitos, Cassiano Branco

Behind the recently restored Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha sits what most people consider to be a kids’ attraction. But this playground of miniature monuments, tiny houses & museum displays from around the world —Portugal dos Pequenitos— was designed to do a lot more than entertain children. Built under the Salazar regime from 1937 to 1961 by architect Cassiano Branco, this compact display of the best of Portugal transmits a message that few people understand today.

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portugal: hungry?

Robert Wright, Portugal, food, frango piri-piri, Bonjardim

Whenever those days of saudade hit, I often remember the flavors of Portugal. Like most people who enjoy food, memories & meals go hand in hand. Tastes are a vivid part of the travel experience & adopting a new diet is one of the best ways to experience a country. The variety of Portuguese gastronomy would provide enough material for an entire blog, so just consider this post a taste of what Portugal has to offer…

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lisboa: cinema europa

[Some material for this post originally published as “keeping it reel 1” on 10 Oct 2007. Older photos from the Lisbon City Archive.]

Portugal, Lisboa, Cinema Europa, Antero Ferreira, 1958

Since movies with sound grew in popularity during the 1930s & 1940s, it was only appropriate that cinema architecture became a spectacle in itself. Grand productions were meant to be seen in grand theaters. Some of the most stunning Art Deco & Rationalist/Modernist buildings I’ve seen around the world are remnants of that era, but unfortunately they are disappearing at an alarming rate.

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rick steves radio interview: portugal

Rick Steves radio interview, Portugal

In case you were taking a break from the World Cup yesterday & listening to one of these radio stations, you might have heard me. Sim, eu. Recorded in January 2010 during the big week of reunions/meetings, Rick taped about 60 minutes worth of interview time with me & Cristina Duarte about the pleasures of Portugal. There were even call-in questions from listeners! Very different from the 2005 radio interview I did with Rick about Argentina (which BTW is pretty dated now).

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