road trip: borders

borders, road trip, map, Spain, Portugal

Whether you call it a national border or la raya, this trip had a several motivations: spend time in places we’d been individually but not together (awwww), visit new spots that are best accessed by car & see how permeable —or not— the Portugal/Spain border has been over time. We beat the heat until the last couple of days of the trip, but overall we were very lucky with weather considering the time of year. Join us for a crazy week on both sides of the border…

Continue Reading →

elvas: forte da graça

Portugal, Elvas, Forte da Graça

Elvas not only boasts a massive wall around the entire city that dates from the great age of fortress construction in the 1700s, but the nearby Forte de Nossa Senhora da Graça also impresses from its commanding location. As a modified 400-meter mountain, the fortress could easily defend Elvas & see any invasion force coming from Spain next door. Most of the fort sits submerged into the mountaintop, making this a fantastic feat of engineering.

Continue Reading →

lisboa: palácio fronteira

Portugal, Lisboa, Lisbon, Palácio Fronteira, Mascarenhas

Situated far from the Metro & tourist crowds, the Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira has to be one of the best-kept secrets of Lisbon. Heck, it’s taken me 20 years to get around to visit it! Built in the 1670s, this hunting estate survived the 1755 earthquake & became the main residence of the Mascarenhas family since then…

Continue Reading →