Friday, June 10, 2016

What's the thing about Portugal?

Every now and then you know I like to talk about my country - Portugal - and there's no better day to do it than today (Jun 10th) - our national day.

Well, let's se... Portugal is a smallish country in southwestern Europe. We're actually on the southwestern tip of it, making for the "face" in the Iberian Peninsula (and no, we're not in Africa, nor are we a part of Spain).

We've been around for quite a while now... with our foundation going as far back as 868 (yes, that's a year). So, you can also imagine quite a lot as been going on over the years/centuries. If you focus on our golden years, we were a country of explorers that crossed the world in a time where few others dared to.  Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama, are just a few examples of our great explorers, and even Christopher Columbus was reportedly Portuguese - though mainstream scholars still deny it (though they fail to explain why he named "Cuba" as Cuba... which is a name of a small region in Portugal where he reportedly is actually from).

Anyway, even in undeniable facts there's lots and lots to go on, like the Treaty of Tordesillas, in which Portugal literally asked (more like demanded) half of the undiscovered world - being a nautical super power back then didn't leave much room for arguing, and using it's secret reports to ensure they'd at least get some land across the Atlantic by pushing the "line" a few thousand miles west (got us Brazil instead of just water.)

But just like all empires... all those riches and glory eventually led to lots of excess and abuse, and we're now far far away from those days. In any case, Portugal is still a very nice place to live (and visit) with lots to see, nice people you can talk to, and great food and wine that will ensure you'll leave with a couple extra pounds (at least. :)

You can get a taste of it by using the Porto VR360 app that lets you come to Porto in VR to see what you're missing... :)

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