Although I loved my recent trip around Portugal, it was very clear that the way of life and the city landscapes have changed drastically within the past few years, as massive tourism has not-so-slowly but very surely replaced what once was. In few places was this as apparent as in Óbidos, where I saw few, if any, signs of how it used to be. This small village now lives by the steady ticking of tour buses and waves of incoming visitors. It has retained its beauty and charm, albeit with the fresh veneer of crowded souvenir shops, overpriced restaurants, and new hotels. I am by no means trying to dissuade you from coming here. Rather, this is a lament for those like me, who travel for the thrill of new experiences and the challenges of being immersed in a culture not your own. We have missed the boat on Portugal, and to see many of its cities in their true form is gone forever. But all is not lost. We may have to work a little harder to find those moments that we travel for, but it is a stunningly beautiful country, and its people are incredibly friendly and welcoming, so those moments may be more in plain sight that you think. In all honesty, I loved Portugal, and I can’t wait to go back.
If in Óbidos, do check out:
Livraria da Adega, Vila Literária de Óbidos - amazing book store
Olaria S. Pedro - a ceramics store with handmade works from various artists
Date: September 2018
Camera: Canon 6D