Saturday, 3 August 2013

Renovation project - Driving in Portugal

Renovation project - Driving in Portugal

Well this is our last day in Portugal; we are heading back into Spain today.

Driving in Portugal is one of the nicest countries we have ever driven in, and we have to say it is one of the most polite. An example is, if you are driving along a road and there is a tractor or a car in front driving slowly (for whatever reason) they will pull over to the edge to let you pass, the edge is quite large almost like a hard shoulder, but they are on every road, no matter how small. This is so nice and does take some getting used to; road rage does not appear to have arrived in Portugal, YET!

The other thing about driving or walking in Portugal, the pedestrian is king, even in cities, if there is a crossing and somebody walks up to it the cars will stop and let the pedestrian cross.

The only downside is that people do not seem to fully understand roundabouts and these are a little like taking your life in your hands as indicators are not commonly used and people seem to choose lanes once on the roundabout, but this is such a small problem compared to the joy of driving in Portugal.

We have not been through all of Portugal but after driving across and up and back across we kept this impression, hopefully the rest of Europe will adopt this polite, caring and laid back type of driving, but somehow I doubt it!

We are driving from Tomar to Salamanca and this means passing another border, we wonder whether this time we will actually see any border control?

As we are driving the temperature stays at a constant fabulous and we pass many small villages and towns, since being in Portugal I have decided that I really want a house covered in tiles, I have just realised I didn’t photograph any, but to explain, the fronts of the houses are covered in colourful tiles, the best ones (or so I think) are the town houses which all have different coloured tiles, or different patterns, they look so different. So my bucket list now includes living in a house with tiles, a pool and lemon and orange trees in the garden oh and  a metal balcony, not too much to ask and I have another 10 years for my bucket list.

As we drive, we pass loads of heron nests on the electricity pylons, it is an amazing site but very difficult to photograph as you are driving.

We also pass a really pretty little village and stop for a drink, it is only whilst we are sat there that I notice the road sign, in one direction Lisbon and in the other Spain, I still find it great to see a road sign to another country just on the side of the road!

A van pulls up and a man leans out to ask for directions, how unlucky is he, to pull up in the middle of Portugal at a little local cafe and get the only 2 English people for miles around?

We pass the sign for Spain and no, there was no border control again, so it’s goodbye Portugal, hello Spain.

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