... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Cheers to Portugal!

Upon our arrival in Cascais before we visited to Lisbon, Gary and Linda hosted a party to welcome us. It was easy to see how these ex-pats (people who live outside of their native country) could embrace living abroad in this Portuguese Riviera.    They hailed from as far as South Africa, England, Ireland and a former Mayor aptly named Will Wynn from Austin Texas. (Damn that’s such a great name!)  It’s no surprise that Gary, the appointed “Mayor” of their community has created an extended family with this crew. They bike ride, swim, golf, shop at the local market, dine and drink together.

I learned interesting facts about Portugal from this diverse crew and what drew them to leave their native homes.  Language was not a barrier, even though Gary is now fluent in Portugues and Linda can certainly get by on her own.

For those considering traveling to Portugal, I thought today, I’d share some interesting facts.

One thing that may surprise you is that the Portuguese language is spoken by over 236 million people worldwide including 210 million natives.

It is the eighth most spoken language in the world and is the official language in 9 countries which includes Portugal (of course), Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Principe, Sao Tome and Equatorial Guinea.

So, if you’re looking for a new language to learn, Portuguese might be a great option

Who could imagine that the oldest bookstore in the world, is in Portugal?

Yes, it’s true. The Bertrand Bookstore in Lisbon is the oldest bookstore in the world and was opened in 1732. This quirky little shop is 283 years old. You can find this piece of history in Lisbon´s Chiado, where it still stands. There are around 50 branches of the bookstore throughout Portugal. If you are around, why not check out the colorful mosaic tiled exterior!

Devastating fact: Beautiful Lisbon was struck by a massive earthquake in November 1755, which was followed by a tsunami and fires that brought the city to rubble. This happened on All Saints Day, a major holiday when the churches are filled with burning candles.When the earthquake struck it caused major fires with the candles. 275,000 people were killed and 85% of the buildings were destroyed.

Portugal is the largest producer of cork in the world!  I was fortunate as Linda gifted me a cork purse, and it will always be a reminder of our trip and time there.

Love Tempura?  Thank Portugal:)

Portuguese missionaries invented the Japanese tempura which is a dish of battered, deep-fried vegetables and seafood. Not only did they invent Piri Piri and tempura, but the Portuguese also introduced chilli, pepper, potatoes and tomatoes to India and Thailand.

Surfs Up! The biggest wave ever surfed was in Portugal. An underwater canyon in the area makes this part of the Portuguese coastline the world’s biggest wave generator. In February 2011, Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara rode a massive wave at a whopping 80 feet tall off the coast of Nazaré in Portugal – and created a new world record.

Have you watched I Am Georgina on Netflix?  I have- and yup, soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo was born here.

Cross the bridge and get there!  Well, not only is Portugal the oldest nation, but it also has the longest bridge in all of Europe.

Cheers to Portugal!  Port Wine is Portugal´s most famous export and its national drink.


Cheers to Gary and Linda too!