Sea mornings

Many visitors arrive in Portugal with their body clocks disoriented by jet lag. They lie awake in the early hours of the morning, stranded between dream and reality.

If you’re close to the ocean, this is your chance. Go to the beach and walk on the immaculate sand. Watch the sea put aside its black nightgown and try on different shades of blue. These simple moments can be extraordinary. Here’s how the writer Raul Brandão describes them in his 1923 book, The Fishermen:

“There are mornings when the dust of the sea mixes with the blue dust of the sky. A fresh, moist breeze, vibrant and salty comes from afar, from the deep, from an endless groundswell that makes us feel that life has no limits.”

The fate of Portugal

The great poet Luís Vaz de Camões published his masterpiece, the Lusíadas, in 1572. In the first part of this epic ode we learn that the fate of Portugal is being decided in Greece. The Greek gods (called by their Roman names) are divided into two parties. Bacchus is the nemesis of Portugal. With the help of Neptune, he sows unexpected obstacles and unending perils on the path of the Portuguese. But Venus takes up the cause of Portugal. And, with her thoughtful help, the Portuguese show that they can accomplish great things.