Holiday Magic from Portugal

Portugal was the last stop on my 12 Countries tour this year - and what a wonderful place it was to celebrate the halfway mark on my journey. In holiday spirit, the bakery windows were full of colorful yeasted "Bolo Rei" or King's Cakes that are traditionally eaten on January 6th for Three Kings Day.

I only made photographs of the lovely Bolo Rei,

but I did indulge in a few creamy galaos (Portuguese style caffe latte) and various sweet treats,

including these famous Portuguese custard tarts, oh yum!

I had a gorgeous view from my Lisbon apartment that I found through airbnb - highly recommended!

And I was enchanted by the orange trees everywhere in my neighborhood

that quite unpretentiously lined the streets!

Holiday decorations were rather spare this year in Lisbon with everyone talking about the "economic crisis." However, in my charming, historic neighborhood of Alfama, the streets were decorated in a more improvised and funky style.

The main square in Alfama was lit up by a sparkling, neon nativity scene,

while other streets were decorated with holiday greetings in Portuguese.

I had heard that the village of Obidos was famous for its Christmas celebrations, so I took a day trip to see this walled city dating back to the Middle Ages.

The village was full of beautiful, tiny, cobblestone streets that felt like secret pathways

and I loved the bright spots of color and handcrafted items on display.

In the evening, Obidos turned on its true holiday charm.

So I grabbed a bag of fresh, hot roasted chestnuts and continued to explore.

The village houses were decorated simply and elegantly,

and there were cute little Christmas market stands selling all sorts of holiday foods.

I enjoyed a perfectly made delicate crepe

and one of the richest cups of hot cocoa I have ever tasted!

Tiny cups made out of edible chocolate and filled with cherry liqueur are a well-known Obidos specialty,

and the friendly locals were ready to pose for a photo and make a toast in Portuguese.

Colorful Christmas trees lit up every corner

and the village church square was graced with a life size nativity scene.

Even the olive trees were decorated with hanging lights!

Oh magical Portugal! What a delight it was to visit, and I can definitely imagine coming back again for a longer stay. 

I hope you are enjoying my little holiday getaway series! Perhaps it will help us all remember to relax and enjoy more this season... Be sure to check out my holiday guest post on Poppytalk today too. 

Next up: a visit to the Xmas market in my Munich neighborhood!