Travel: Arriving in Portugal

Since I flew from California to bide a mere 4 days in New Jersey, and then flew from there to Lisbon, Portugal, my jet-lag is at an all-time high. I averaged a bedtime ove about 2 AM in NJ (Carry over from the 3-hour difference), and as a result, even though my plane landed at 8 AM, because it is 5 hours ahead of home, I successfully acquired a mere 3-hours of sleep. Needless to say, I am pretty exhausted. Clearly, I overestimated how energetic I would be, and assumed I’d be able to site-see immediately after I got off the plane. YAWN.

I took the metro (clean and efficient) to hop on a Redo Expresso bus bound for Fatima. When my parents and sister visited Portugal over a year ago, they met a young lady, who participated in an exchange program in Philadelphia, and was brave enough to accept my mother’s invitation to spend the weekend with us in our home. We became friends within this time, and she invited me to visit her back in her home country. I am now spending time with her and her family in their home. Hopefully, I will learn some Portuguese within this time, and paired with my Spanish, I can communicate more effectively.  😀

Portugal Cove, NL, 1908

I have a deep admiration for the rich culture and heritage that european countries are founded upon.

Portugal has diverse origins. It is the oldest european nation-state, and was the impetus behind pioneering the age of discovery. Famed explorers such as Prince Henry the Navigator, Christopher Columbus, Vasco de Gama, and Pedro Álvares Cabral trace their bloodlines from here. Treaties such as the Treaty of Tordesillas and the Treaty of Zaragoza helped establish Portugal’s seat as an economic, military, and political power from the 15th to early 16th centuries.

Yet, it has been in decline in the 21st century in the aftermath of Napoleon’s Occupation. Although many products, such as Calvin Klein, Guess, and the Leica Cameras, are produced here, there is still a negative stigma associated with it. Leica Camera’s still carry the “Made in Germany” title, because when production was shifted to Portugal, statistics demonstrated that “Made in Portugal” resulted in a 30% loss in sales.

 

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