Another two months have passed since our last blog. The last period in Portugal we spend in the Northern part of the country. We enjoyed every minute of it! We went to two National parks and visit the city of Porto. Porto is a cool city. A bit rough on the edges but incredibly beautiful from the inside. We visit some great parts of the city and biked to much 😉 uphill and along the Douro. There is a “small” competition between the cities of Porto and Lisbon and in both of the cities the people think, their city is the best.…. We were unable to choose and we felt both cities deserve a visit for sure.
The North is very beautiful and is completely different than the South part of the country. Our first national park was Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela. We drove to the highest mountain (2000 meters) which is in the middle of the park. Ella (our beloved camper) did an amazing job by going up and down the small roads of the park. Piece of cake. Even do Ella isn’t “fancy” and no 4×4, we are so happy with her. She does her job well. After an extreme windy night without a lot of sleep we enjoyed waterfalls along the road back down to the valley. We did a lot of walks and enjoyed the surroundings.
Right at the border between Portugal and Spain there is a city called Viana do Castelo. For some a good spot to surf for us a nice spot for the weekend. We spend the weekend at the farm of Hugo. For the first time since ages, we had a little living room of our own (part of the hostel, but no guests) and we enjoyed the weekend with other travelers who we met through social media but never met in person. Nice and relaxed! Our Second national park was Parque Nacional Peneda-Geres. THE park of Portugal for almost all of the Portuguese we met during our travel and what an incredibly park it is. We spend 1,5 weeks in and around the park. Did two long walks around 15 km each in two different areas of the park and spend nights in the middle of nowhere. Luckily the borders between Spain and Portugal reopened a couple of days before we entered, so were able to drive along and through the borders of the park without any issues. The last days in Portugal we spend enjoying massive waterfalls and very cold dips.
After 8 months, it was time to say goodbye. Portugal gave us so much. More than we could ever imagined. It gave us a home away from home. It gave us a home in strange times. It gave us friends for life. It gave us new insights for our future. It gave us a new path to travel. It gave us amazing views and wonderful walks. It gave us music. It gave us Covid (unfortunately) but most of all it gave us exactly what we needed, lots of love and happiness. We almost decided to go and live in Portugal for the next couple of years but we also realized due to travel, that our family and friends are very valuable to us. We will come back, that’s a promise! And for us, a promise is a promise.
We left Portugal with mixed feelings and drove easily through Spain toward France. We took a risk of not doing any PCR test but we had no issues at all at the borders. We only got stopped once in France by a toll station controller. No request of test, just our route. We spend two days with an old colleague of Stephen, and his wife on their farm. Before we drove to the Netherlands, we made one other stop at friends we met at the Fabriça in Lisbon. We had a great evening with the whole family playing domino and getting way too much spoiled by delicious food.
Coming home to see family and friend is always awesome. Even do we really wanted to see all of our friends; due to the short period of time we mainly focused on our family. Both of our dads needed a lot of love and it felt really good to be with our families. This was the second time we came back “home” during our 2,5 years of travel but this time it felt different. The first time the difference between India and the Netherlands was massive and due to the way we came home (urgently,) it wasn’t measurable. Now, after arriving from Portugal we found the difference much bigger. We noticed much more the neatness of our country and the materialistic approach on life. We realise that our minds are changed and we are more and more adapting to a less materialistic and rushed life. We know money is a necessary but how much depends totally on your own state of mind.
We arrived in Sweden yesterday and are excited about our trip through Scandinavia. We had butterflies in our stomach. We will start off our trip in Götenborg and Stockholm and after the cities we will go into the beautiful national parks of Sweden. For now, we will go up all the way to the border of Norway and Finland. Hopefully we can cross into Norway. For now, the border of Norway remains closed till further notice. If the border stays closed, we will go down through Finland.
We are still in a search for a winter job. We prefer Switzerland but also Austria, Italy, France or Norway (when it opens up) will be an option. Dates are flexible. So, if any of you know a nice job for 3 incredibly lovely nomads……. Let us know 😉
De kyss från oss tre!