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September 30, 2008

The Art of Being Portuguese?

Two of our 2004 guests were Margaret Atwood and her charming husband, Graeme, who came to “walk in Pessoa’s footsteps.”  I had always considered Pessoa a literary kook until then, but I’ve since come to think of him fondly.  This New York Times article has some amusing insights into Pessoa and the Portuguese psyche including:

“But he had a way of being that is distinctly Portuguese.” He paused to find the right words. “It has to do with everything and nothing — that we Portuguese can have everything, but still feel we have nothing.”

Portugal, he explained, had discovered half the world by the 16th century but still felt itself a failure for having not discovered the rest. The national mind-set, Mr. Lourenço said, is “a combination of megalomania and humility.”

… Mr. Lourenço gathered his thoughts one more time. “He is the most tragic of the Portuguese poets,” he said. “The pleasure of unhappiness is particularly Portuguese.”

Full article:  Portugal Holds on to Words Few can Grasp (NYTimes)
15 July 2008

April 1, 2007

48 Hours in Lisbon

Some fun ideas from the UK’s “The Independent” Online Edition :

48 Hours in Lisbon


(Don’t miss our full selection of favorite Lisbon articles at
Lisbon in the News: Travel Articles & Itineraries )

February 22, 2007

The safest city in europe? Lisbon (again!)

Despite what your taxi driver may tell you, Lisbon is the safest city in Europe.

safest city in europeAlthough coverage of crime in the mainstream Portuguese media generates a sense of insecurity among the locals, a study conducted by a polling group — including Gallup, EU and the UN’s UNICRI agencies — has found that Lisbon is the safest [large] city in the European Union.
Instead of using police crime registries, researchers interviewed thousands of residents (between 1,200 and 5,000) in 18 countries to ask about their own personal experiences with crime.
The “European Crime and Safety Survey” said the Portuguese capital was the safest city in Europe. Only one in ten residents reported that they had ever been affected by crime.
At the opposite end of the scale, the report, published earlier this week, unveils London as the most dangerous capital in which to live.  London topped the crime league table, with 30 percent of the British capital’s residents saying they had been the victim of theft or burglaries.

Besides London, other crime hotspots identified by researchers were the Irish Republic, Estonia, Netherlands and Denmark, where “insecurity” rates were all at least 30 percent above the European average.

From what we have seen and heard personally, the crimes that do occur in Lisbon tend to be small crimes of oportunity, like pickpocketing. Violent crime of any sort is very rare. As in any big city, though, caution and common sense should be exercised, especially at night or in secluded areas.

What are you waiting for? Come visit the safest city in Europe!


Foto: Peg Achterman

February 15, 2007

Alastair Sawday: We passed!

Alastair Sawday's: Portugal

Alastair Sawday’s: Portugal

Yes, we did!  We passed the much anticipated, on-site, white glove examination performed by an Alastair Sawday Inspector last fall.

Our two-page description (pages 90,91) in the recently released 2007 PORTUGAL Special Places to Stay* begins “A brilliant opportunity to live as a Lisboeta in a real Portuguese neighbourhood.  You are free of tourists…” and includes other kind comments such as my favorite:  “Bed linens and towels are immaculate.”  🙂

 We are honored to have been accepted into the worldwide “Special Places” family and wish to thank all our guests, once again, for staying with us… and for recommending us to their friends and family.  Muito obrigado!

*Alastair Sawday’s “Special Places to Stay” From their “Who are We” introduction:  The notion of ‘special’ is at the heart of what we do, and highly subjective… We take huge pleasure from finding people and places that do their own thing — brilliantly; places that are unusual and follow no trends; places of peace and beauty; people who are kind and interesting – and genuine. 

May 14, 2006

I Heart Lisbon

Portuguese traditional dancers

Portuguese traditional dancers

Take a quick look at this fun blog entry by a recent guest… and, for an intimate view of the “real” Portugal, don’t miss the last photo.


Full post: Home Again, Home Again










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