Memorable pastries from Vila Real

If you are not hungry before you look at this, your sweet tooth will be clamoring for some!

Salt of Portugal

Crista de GaloMore than a century ago, a baker from Vila Real was given four secret recipes from the local Santa Clara convent. The pastries she made with these recipes were so extraordinary that she decided to turn her bakery into a pastry store.

Today, her great grandchildren continue to use the same prized recipes at Casa Lapão, a pastry store in Vila Real. Their most popular pastry is called “Crista de Galo,” which means rooster comb.  We recommend that you try them with your eyes closed so you can better appreciate the heavenly combination of the flaky dough with the egg and almond filling.

If you’re near Vila Real, a stop at Casa Lapão can turn an ordinary day into a memorable one.

Casa Lapão is located at Rua da Misericórdia 53/55, Vila Real, tel 259 324 146, email casalapao@gmail.com. Click here for their website. 

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Relaxing in the Gerês pousada

I wish I was vacationing there right now!

Salt of Portugal

Pousada do Gerês

If words could describe how great it is to stay at the Caniçadas pousada in Gerês, you would not need to drive up the Gerês mountain to find this hotel ensconced in the woods, overlooking the Cávado river. But even poets would have trouble putting into words the feeling of starting the day sitting in the hotel’s veranda, our eyes feasting on the spectacular vistas.

The origins of the hotel go back to 1951, when temporary accommodations were built for a group of engineers working on a dam on the Cávado river. Naturally, the engineers chose a location with an amazing view. In 1968, the building was converted into a hotel and an annex was built to house the chauffeurs of the wealthy patrons who came to Gerês to recharge their energies.

The staff of the pousada gave us wonderful recommendations for what to do in Gerês: trails to hike, rivers to swim…

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Beach moments

Gotta love the beach no matter where in the world it is!

Salt of Portugal

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Life is like a train trip. We eagerly anticipate getting to the next station but, once we’re there, we can’t wait to move on.

Much of life is a blur, like the views from a moving train. We remember the arrivals and departures of those we love. And we remember some of the train stops, when the pace of life slows down.

For us, many of these leisure moments are spent on a Portuguese beach. We recall the beauty of the seaside, the wonderful weather, the delicious food and, most of all, those who shared these happy moments with us.

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What I’ve Been Up To This Summer, part 1

Hair today…

The Girl Who Couldn't Eat Anything

before body spritz

So, one of the things I’ve been up to is working on my Lemongrass Spa business. My favorite part of that is exploring the different products in my home and figuring out what all I can use them for! I LOVE that they are all natural and even though they might be marketed as one thing, they can be safely used for many different things!

One of our favorites is the Body Spritz. It’s a great alternative to perfume, but the Princess’s favorite use for it is a detangler for her hair! Ever since she was a wee tad, she has HATED getting a shower/bath and getting her hair washed. A lot of that had to do with the fact she has a lot of hair and it easily gets tangled! Enter in the body spritz! A few sprays on her hair and she’s as happy as a clam, plus…

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The third island

The Azores are part of Portugal also. Such beauty.

Salt of Portugal

Açores 47 - cropedThis year we visited Terceira, an island in Azores. After Madeira and the Canary islands, Azores was the third group of islands discovered by Portuguese navigators. Initially, the Portuguese called the whole archipelago Terceiras (the Portuguese word for thirds), but later they renamed it Azores and reserved the name Terceira for the largest island.

Terceira is a perfect destination for a relaxing vacation. There are many beaches to enjoy and hiking trails to explore. Restaurants serve great food for modest prices. And the traditional architecture makes us feel as if we are in a time gone by, when life was simpler and time was not a luxury.

Vitorino Nemésio, a great poet from Terceira, wrote that here you are “at the very bosom and infinitude of the sea, like the medusas and the fish.”

The green valleys of Terceira compete with the beauty of the sea. For Nemésio, this competition is futile because “The…

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