Giveaway & Mini Review: Culture Smart! Portugal Guide

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To celebrate my first blog tour with Culture Smart! coming up on the 6th of January, I’m also hosting a giveaway for one of their lovely essential guides to customs and culture. Being Portuguese and all I thought it would be cool to do a giveaway of one of their awesome guides on Portugal.

These guides aren’t your typical guides. It’s not a language and phrase book guide or a places to go type of guide, but more a mini guide into our culture and customs. Like a crash course in how to be Portuguese!

If like me you are the kind of person who loves to learn more about the country you are visiting, this is the guide for you. If like me even when you can’t really afford to travel you still love learning about other cultures, this is the guide for you too.

I had a quick look at the Portugal guide and I think that they got most of it right. The reason I say “most of it” is because the guides are of course generalised and not everyone fits into a specific mould of their own country. Even though I don’t see myself in some of the things mentioned I recognise that it does indeed portray the majority of our population.

The thing I must disagree is when it says that we appear unfriendly to strangers to begin with, because I have had a lot of British people telling me that their favourite thing about visiting Portugal (after the beaches and the food!) was how friendly and welcoming the Portuguese people were. With that in mind I think it’s fair to say we are very suspicious people, and even though we are welcoming, I assure you that we are trying to figure out if you are a good egg or not. I also completely agree that the easiest way to blend in is by joining us at the table! We will show you how to love the simple things in life! Like eating and drinking!

That is why my favourite section in the Portugal guide has to be the Time Out section. Mostly because it goes on about our food! I’m telling you it’s freaking delicious. If there is one thing I miss a lot when I go back home it would be the food. Oh, and the family of course! We live our lives around food, you wake up for breakfast thinking of what to cook for lunch then having lunch and thinking what to have for dinner. And before bed we may just gather around for a glass of milk and some cake (no wonder I’m overweight! Totally worth it!).

I also adore that the guide includes my absolute favourite historical love story of Dom Pedro and Inês de Castro.

“Dom Pedro and Inês de Castro were Portugal’s real-life Romeo and Juliet. Inês de Castro a beautiful Spanish noblewoman become lady-in-waiting for Constance of Castile when the latter traveled to Lisbon in 1340 to marry Dom Pedro, the crown prince and heir to the Portuguese throne. Dom Pedro and Inês fell in love, and though Pedro’s father, King Afonso IV, banished her from the court, their love affair continued. When Constance died in 1345, Dom Pedro settled with Inês in Coimbra, where she bore him four children. Afonso maintained his opposition to the relationship and, in his son’s absence, had Inês murdered. Distraught with grief and anger, Dom Pedro led a rebellion against his father, and on his death, when he was crowned king in 1357, had his lover’s assassins murdered and tore their hears out with his bare hands. This tragic and romantic story is a favourite among the Portuguese, and has been featured widely in classical Portuguese literature.”

The guide however only tells the real story, as guides should do! But I do love the haunting and legend part of their love story. There is a gorgeous place you can go visit called Quinta das Lágrimas, which is believed to be where Inês de Castro was assassinated. Upon her tragic death her tears formed the Fonte das Lágrimas (Fountain of Tears) where at the bottom of the Fountain in the water, you can still see the bloody stained rock. There are also stories about hearing a woman crying in the area, making people believe that the place is haunted to this day by her ghost. Even though I have never encountered the crying ghost of Inês de Castro, I can vouch for the blood stained rock.

The guide is full of little gems like that and is an absolute must for all travel enthusiasts or for anyone with a keen interest in other cultures.

I guess you are now wondering how you can win the guide? All you have to do is follow me and Culture Smart! on Twitter and RT the tweet bellow. It’s open internationally, except for Portugal for obvious reasons. Please no giveaway accounts.

This giveaway closes on the 5th of January at 3pm GMT. The winner will be announced on the 6th of January, the day of my Blog Tour with Culture Smart!, where I will be reviewing their upcoming new guides on Greece and Morocco.

Safe travels!

*FangirlSince1988 xxx

P.S.: Enjoy bellow some snaps taken by yours truly in Portugal.

4 thoughts on “Giveaway & Mini Review: Culture Smart! Portugal Guide

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