Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Travel the World - Portugal

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...


Portugal lies in Southwestern Europe. Portugal is located along the Atlantic ocean and borders Spain in the country's east.

Portugal is slightly smaller than the size of Virginia/USA or about twice the size of Oregon. 

The northern parts of Portugal are mountainous, whereas the landscape in southern Portugal is dominated by rolling hills. The mild Mediterranean climate offers ideal conditions for farming.

Portugal has almost 300 sunny days per year.

Lisbon Portugal, the capital city is approximately 4 centuries older than Rome and is also known to be the second oldest European capital followed by Athens.

There are no inland lakes in Portugal.

Portugal has the second longest bridge in Europe. The Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is 7.6 miles long. It was the longest in Europe for about 20 years until the Crimean Bridge was opened in Russia in 2018.

Lisbon was hit by one of the most powerful earthquakes in European history. On the 1st of November in 1755, Lisbon was struck by an approximately 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which was followed by a tsunami and fires that reduced much of the city to rubble. The earthquake struck on All Saints Day, a major holiday that involved churches being filled with burning candles. When the earthquake struck, many of these candles toppled and caused major fires. 275,000 residents were killed, and 85 percent of the city's buildings were destroyed. Locals talk about the devastating natural disaster to this day.

Portugal was the first country to require fingerprints on identity cards. This regulation was implemented in 2008.

Portugal is home to the world’s largest cork forest and produces over 70% of its cork exports, which accounts for over half of the world's cork. Cork oak trees are protected by Portuguese law. The cork is stripped from the trunk of the cork oak every nine years without damaging the tree.

There's always time for coffee in Portugal. The Portuguese won’t let a little thing like work keep them from enjoying a coffee break or two during their day. Their preference is a quick espresso-sized bica served in a tiny cup. 

Japanese tempura is actually a Portuguese invention.

On 11 August 2012, a group of locals was a little hungry. In Santerém, 55 people spent six hours cooking the world’s largest omelet, made with 145,000 eggs.

One of the world's most beautiful McDonald's restaurants can be found in Porto, Portugal. The building occupies what was once the Cafe Imperial and maintains its original art deco style of architecture. Having a Big Mac in a McDonald's with stained glass windows and other architectural delights is an experience you won't get anywhere else.

Portugal holds the record for the shortest reigning monarch in the world. Crown Prince Luís Filipe was the King of Portugal for a grand total of 20 minutes after his father Carlos I was assassinated on 1 February 1908. After suffering injuries in the same attack, Luís Filipe also died and the title of king was transferred to Manuel II, the last King of Portugal.

Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, is said to have led the first expedition to circumnavigate the globe.  

Portugal is one of the world's top surf spots.

Portugal has a coastline that spans 497 miles and it's known to have 364 days of surf per year. This makes it a popular destination for surfers and beach-goers from all over the world.

The biggest wave ever surfed was in Portugal. In February 2011, American surfer Garrett McNamara rode a gargantuan wave of 78 feet off the coast of Nazaré in Portugal – creating a new world record in the process. An underwater canyon makes this part of the Portuguese coastline the world’s biggest wave generator. 

Portugal has made it against the law to urinate in the ocean. (I do have to wonder how they monitor that???)

The oldest book store in the world is in Portugal's capital.

A model of a hot air balloon was first invented in Portugal by Father Bartolomeu de Gusmão, and it was tested on 8th August 1709.

Portugal is the sixth-largest producer of lithium in the world and the largest in Europe.

A flight to Lisbon takes roughly 3 hours from London/England or 8.5 hours from New York/USA.

In Madeira, Portugal, one can experience the famous toboggan rides that were historically the primary source of transportation in the region. Riding in a wicker toboggan is described as exhilarating by many tourists.

The Portuguese people eat more fish per person than any other country in the world.

Cobblers always have work in Portugal, thanks to the massive amount of cobblestone streets that snake through the country. These streets may be beautiful, but they are famed for destroying shoes. Especially high-heels.

Wild animals found in Portugal include wolves, lynx, wildcat, wild boars, goats, deer, hares and more.  Due to its location, Portugal remains rich in birdlife as it sits on the western migration route of many western and central species.

Common animals found in Portugal include boars, wild goats, deer, Iberian hares, and foxes. Portugal is also home to one of the world’s most endangered cat species, the Iberian lynx.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Portugal... Portugal broke the world record for hosting the largest Santa Claus parade back in 2008. Over 14,000 people dressed as Santa showed up to raise money for charity.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: CTMH Share the Magic stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers and a Wink of Stella Glitter Marker

Paper: Neenah 110# Solar White and SU Garden Green CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangle and Paper Roses Stitched Circles

Embellishments: Paper Studio Brads and Snowflake Brad from an unknown vendor


s.mcfeggan@gmail.com said...

After reading your interesting story on Portugal imagine my surprise when I got to the end to see that the card was of Santa. I did not see that coming! LOL I thought you'd be going towards coffee. Anyway great card and loved the story!

kiwimeskreations said...

What a wonderful place Portugal must be Jeanette - some fascinating facts there~! Love your Santa card :)
Stay safe