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This mural for Mercardo do Levante was painted over during the renovations.

Lagos Fresh Markets

Before the carnation revolution, farmers had to sell their crops to the state at a price set by the state. The revolution’s seeds were sown by these farmers and grew to overthrow the Salazar regime. The spirit of the carnation revolution lives on with these small farmers who can feed the country and enjoy the monetary fruits of their labor. 

These small local producers are exempt from taxes on the sales, and pay just a small fee for the booth and to take a course on food safety.  However in 2013 during austerity, there was a proposal by the governing majority to tax these small producers.  The citizen and I were happy to sign the petitions and distribute flyers in solidarity with the growers. Small farmers from these local markets from all over Portugal descended on Lisbon to protest and fortunately the proposal was defeated. 

Riding the Crazy Train

 First Published by Constance on September 23rd 2016

Sardine Train

One day the Sardine Train (officially the comboio turístico) was free to the public.  No one had to pay a large amount of Euros to tour the high points of Lagos while riding on the carriage of benches pulled by what looked like an old fashioned steam engine.

The Citizen and I were thrilled about the prospect of actually riding the cheesy thing.  We see it constantly, it’s our unofficial monitor on how to tell how crowded it is in town that day.  That and the number of the huge tour busses belching out clumps of people who are herded about by a someone with a flag.  These people are from the cruise ship docked in Portimáo.

We prepared for riding the Sardine train with a nice bottle of wine decanted into water bottles . The train does a loop of the beaches, it takes about an hour and people can get on and off at the designated stops.  Where should we hop on the train?  It had be the Marina.

The Portuguese Lessons

First Published October 3rd 2010 by Constance 

Portuguese lessons

 
The Portuguese class is made up of a mixed platter of people from all over Europe, plus two Americans besides us.

We have enough English for a scrum, the Citizen among them (I am throwing the Scot and the Welsh in the mix). Then an adorable older couple from France, she must have been quite the beauty in her day, she is so lovely and so charming while playing at learning Portuguese while her husband feeds her the answers.
 

Then, this week, the Eastern bloc appeared. Two Vladimirs and a Svetlana from Russia, a woman from Moldavia, Marianna from Hungary, a scattering of Ukraines. Everyone in the Eastern bloc all seem to drive nice cars.

Ah, a wonderful U.N. of learning, all of us in little chairs, sitting at little tables at the Escola D. Joao II, without the tension of the U.N.....thankfully.  Three nights a week, Tuesday (Terca), Wednesday (Quarta) and Thursday (Quinta). Each lesson one and a half hours a week and lasts until June. The class is free and bonus, we just found out we are being paid two and a half Euros per class to attend, what a country!

Backstage With Metallica

 First Published June 1st 2012 by  Constance.

 Our friend, Claudia Pastorius and her 9 year old daughter Hannah dropped by Salir do Porto for a few days on their way to Spain.  During lots of grilled fish and other Portuguese fun she said she had all access tickets for Metallica asked us to go. 

Hannah’s bass player dad is friends with the bass player Robert Trujillo, Hell, yes, even a blues fan like me knows a musical legend when she sees one.  Earplugs in my pocket, Hannah had her doll she wanted to have signed by the band, we hopped the bus to Lisboa ready for the headliners at the Rock in Rio.

Adventures Abroad Returns!

Kevin and I packed up our lives in the States and moved to Portugal in 2010.  We traveled, hiked the countryside and greedily gobbled up everything our new little country had to offer.  Enjoying fresh produce from the farmer's market, fresh bread and fish delivered to our doorstep by trucks that came to the village every day.  Picking blackberries and figs in the fields by our house, walking down the hill for a swim then stopping off for a beer and chat with the locals. 

 We had great stories and adventures so I built a website and named it An Adventure Abroad to share the wonderful experiences, also the silly mistakes that expats make.  The more I wrote, people began to notice.  The website became recognized by travel blog associations, I was getting invitations to write for online magazines and even International Living asked me to submit paid articles. While I thought my blog was a fun hobby it was becoming successful and I was becoming recognized as a "real" writer!  Meanwhile, I had tripped and fallen, walking and climbing steps was becoming more and more painful.  Doctors at the emergency room said it was just siatica so I kept hiking and dancing, living my best life. 

Goodbye America…How Are You?

First Published September 11th 2010 by Constance 

In the words of my favorite overdosed blues rocker, Janis Joplin, “Tomorrow man, there ain’t no tomorrow…it’s just all one day…ya know man” then she slurred her way into the epic “Try” and into my personal herstory books.

My “one long day” is rising and setting on the western coast of Portugal.  With three pieces of luggage weighing 70 pounds each, a laptop and my Euros, my passport and fiscal number, my one way ticket in hand, I boarded the one plane a day into Lisbon.  “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”, an inspirational earworm singing in my head, thanks Janis and of course Kris.

Now here I am, north of Lisbon, in a tiny village on the Atlantic.  The only U.S. citizen around as far as I can tell. OK by me!  After a month of taking all this in, this is what I have learned and am sharing in case you are thinking of selling everything and fleeing to a new land: 

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