The Queen of Beaches in Portugal

The city of Figueira da Foz was crowned Rainha das Praias, Queen of the Beaches already in the 1920´s.

We had no idea that we were going to experience the sensational sea resort considered the Queen of the Beaches of Portugal when we left Arlanda, Stockholm. 

We flew in to Lisbon on our way to Rio de Janeiro since TAP makes a stop in Lisbon.  
We made plans to see Marcellos close friend from Brazil, Ludimila and her husband Dominic. 

 This french/brasilian couple moved to Figueira da Foz in Portugal a year ago from Penedo, Brazil. They picked us up at the airport around 11 at night and drove us the two hours from Lisbon to Figueira da Foz by the sea. 

Figurera from Fig-tree and Foz coming from the latin word fouces, meaning river mouth/flood mynning,  because the river Mondego meets the Atlantic here in Figueira da Foz. That is at least one of the explanations to the name of this city  by the Atlantic ocean in Portugal, because historians don't really agree on this point. 

We eat a late dinner and have a glass of Portuguese wine and the two friends get to live chat after a year of adventures told over WhatsApp. Marcello in Sweden with me and Ludimila with her french husband here in Portugal. 

Shoes in hand walking on the beach in the sunset in March is dreamy for a Swede. 

Sunday morning brunch in the sun on the balcony overlooking the Atlantic. 

Ludimila has two Japanese Akitas, Saori and Yoshi. Yoshi, the male and Marcello has a true&close relationship that is evident. They have known each other since Yoshi was a puppy.  

Figueira da Foz was considered Vila (small town) already the 12th of March 1771 and turned Cidade (city) on the 20 September 1882 This is a city with with a long history of immense port movement, ship building and cod drying industry.  

Two good friends that finally can have a café con leite together in the sun. 

Our mission after brunch is to find the right seafood for lunch, this gorgeous 20+ sunny and warm winds Sunday. 

Going to the regular  supermarket does not let you down in the seafood department. Impressive how much fantastic "frutos do mar" is offered here.  

We decide to grill squid, lula grelhada,  which I never have done before and I must say I will gladly do again. It tastes great and was really fast to prepare. 

Loving the multitude of fish offered at the local supermarket. 

Tiles in interiors and as facade cover has a long history in Portugal. The antique Azulejos/tiles were decorated in a simple palate, dominated by blues and whites. 

It was and still is typical for the Portuguese to tell stories about their history, religion and culture through this decorative ceramics  dating as far back as the 13th century when the Moors invaded Portugal, which then belonged to Spain. 
The word Azulejo stems from Arabic root meaning "small polished stone". 

Portugal has so many unique culinary specialities that offer taste sensations like the sweet Ovos Moles we were invited to try  by Marisa, Ludimila´s friend that came with boxes of this for me totally new and rich taste. I really recommend you to taste Ovos Moles if you like eggs. 

Tile and pattern inspiration is found everywhere. 

The long and rich history and multi cultural influence of this harbor city is reflected in the buildings, street decoration and everyday life.  

Figueira da Foz offers inviting restaurants and cafés on every corner. 

Traditional restaurants as well as new cross over cuisine. Above you see us at Wine Bar Christal that has covered the walls with the wooden lid of the wine boxes. 

Wine here is excellent at at a much(!)lower price than in Sweden. 

Walking around in the beautiful city of Figueira is total inspiration for me. 
This door!

Check out the tiles and mosaic of the beach walk of Figueira which is the type that has made Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio famous has its origin from Portugal and Praça Do Rocio in Lisbon.
I will tell you more about this 
when we reach Rio de Janeiro. 

Marcello had a meeting with this theatre group in Figueira da Foz introducing one of his plays . 

Both Marcello and me had our hair cut at the local Barbearia and the owner telling the story for Marcello of his last 50(!)years as a hairdresser and barber in Figueira da Foz. 

The first Casino in Figueira da foz looks this amazing. The new huge casino is not this gorgeous of a building but offers the biggest playground for Casinos on the Iberian Peninsula.

 Letting this amazing Strelitzia blooming outside be the last photo since it is flora found in both Brazil and Portugal and a true favorite for me. Figueira da Foz is in the Coimbra region and the city of Coimbra is where we are going next. If you are a Harry Potter fan you might know of this unique university. 

Stay in touch


Strelitzia or parrotflower/papegojblomma as it is named in Sweden. 

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