Portugal has the best tourism movie in the world

    The Portuguese movie “Beauty of simplicity”, launched by the Official Tourism Board is officially a hit.

    I has already received the of silver medal in the “BestWorld Films Awards” in the category Short film in New York; the gold medal in Latvia at the “RigaTourfilm” 2012 in the category Commercial Film; and the 2nd place in Warsaw competition for the best film promoting country, region or city.

    Now it was just awarded a gold medal in the International Film Festival of Tourism and Ecology of Serbia - “SILAFEST 2012” in the category of Best Tourism Film. Besides, we also know that it will be one of four award-winning films at the CannesFestival Corporate Media & TV Awards 2012, the biggest event of the European corporate films.

    The music was made by Nuno Maló, a Portuguese musician living in Los Angeles and is nominated for the Jerry Goldsmith Awards 2011 in the category of “Best Promotion Score”.

Are you curious? Here it is :)

Ano do Brasil em Portugal

    Aí pessoal do Brasil, hoje este post é para vocês! Bem sei que na LisbonStories escrevo sempre em Inglês, mas tendo em conta que hoje é o dia de inauguração do Ano de Brasil em Portugal… há que abrir uma excepção!

    Leram bem: começa hoje a celebração do ano de Brasil em Portugal. Para celebrar, haverá (já desde hoje) exposições, concursos de fotografia, workshops de samba e concertos em muitos bairros emblemáticos de Lisboa e Porto, as duas principais cidades portuguesas. O melhor? É gratuito!

    Este sábado à noite vai ter concerto de Ney Matogrosso e Monobloco e domingo concerto de Martinho da Vila, Carminho, Paulo Gonzo, Zeca Baleiro, Boss AC e Zé Ricardo, a partir das cinco da tarde.

    Ficou com fome? Tranquilo. Vai ter também um espaço gastronómico para provar quitutes portugueses e brasileiros: pastel de carne, pão de queijo, kibe, bolinho de bacalhau ou até mesmo salada de polvo.

    Mas tem mais, muito mais. Basta visitar a página oficial e programar bem a sua agenda!

Where have I been

    I know that it has been a while since my last post. September 2012 is the busiest month ever here in Lisbon Stories and it has been really hard to keep up with everything.

    Where have I been? I spent the last week with a lovely and fun group of friends who have been travelling together, once a year, for the last 12 years. Why am I sharing this with you?  I don’t know, maybe because we saw and did a lot and this was one of those tours that I really enjoy too and almost forgot that I was working.

    We visited Lisbon and then headed North passing by Coimbra where we visited the city and the old university; spent two days in Aveiro, enjoying the city, the coast and Vista Alegre factory; did a culinary workshop in Aveiro’s fish market; visited Porto and then came to Cascais where they spent some time before visiting Sintra, Roca Cape and some hidden spots on the mountain… wow!

I’ve just taken them to the airport and truth is that I miss them already! Hope to see you soon girls!

Tipping – how much?

    Doesn’t matter where you go, tipping is always an issue, or at least a question. Is it included in the bill? Wen shall you tip? How much and to whom?

    In Portugal tips are welcomed but are not mandatory. Tipping is a reward for a special / remarkable service and not a customer’s obligation. We tip about 10% of the bill or more when the service was extraordinarily good.

    Since it’s not mandatory, it will never be charged together with your whole bill. In case you’d like to pay the tip together with the check, on your credit card, ask the waiter if that’s possible as normally we pay with credit card and then tip in cash.

    Last question: who shall you tip? We tip mostly waiters and doormen (when they help us with luggage). In the case of taxi drivers we normally round up the bill a little bit.

    And if this post helped you, feel free to leave a tip… a comment, I mean ;)

With or without them?

     When you order cherry liqueur, one of the most popular Portuguese liqueurs, this is what you be asked: with or without them? Don’t worry: they’re obviously talking about the cherries: with or without the cherries?

     Made of sour cherries, firing water, sugar, cinnamon and water, this is a rather strong liqueur, widely drunk in Portugal. In some places you might even find it served in a chocolate cup (yummy), but most Portuguese people prefer the “original” version: just cherry liqueur with a couple of cherries.

     Besides the normal bars and pubs where you can find it, there are also a couple of “stores” that serve nothing but cherry liqueur. My favorite one is located close to Rossio square and was open in 1840. Believe it or not, it opens at 9am… This photo was taken a couple of hours later: cherry liqueur is an excellent digestive, and after one of those Portuguese big lunches, you really need one!


Looking forward to tasting it? Share your thoughts with me and this article with your friends!

A salty post: Salt pans in Aveiro

     Last week was truly amazing. The good part of delivering tours in the whole country is that every now and then I can leave Lisbon and Sintra (where I spend 95% of my time) and enjoy other regions of my beloved country.

     While beautiful landscapes, great food, historical sights and world heritage monuments can be found almost everywhere in Portugal, there’s something that can only be found in few areas: Salt pans! I think that this really was the highlight of the tour for J&K.

     How many of you have already been to a salt pan? How many of you have already thought about the origin of our beloved silent ingredient? Today most of the salt we eat comes underground mines and is heavily processed but long time ago the organic one used to be so important, to preserve the food, that people would be paid in salt. This originated the word “Salary” (sal = salt) that we still use today.

     History aside, it was a lot of fun to walk trough the salt extraction tanks, touch (and climb) salt pyramids and to talk to a “Marnoto”: the person who extracts the salt. By the way, do you know those little pots of “Salt flower”, the finest type of salt that you’ve been buying in those gourmet stores for a fortune? Apparently, buying from the producer only costs 5€ for 3 pounds and he even offered us 10 pounds of sea salt!

Aveiro 2.5 hours away from Lisbon but is not so far from the main highway when going up to Porto, so, feel free to ask me to pass by on our multi-days tours.