Day trip to Elvas, historic fort citadel on the Portugal-Spain border

Since arriving in Portugal, something I've been somewhat missing is a deeper sense of history. So far, I've mostly focused on trying to gain some understanding of the 48-year dictatorship of Salazar, which ended well within living memory in 1974, with the Carnation Revolution - so called because carnation flowers were inserted into the ends … Continue reading Day trip to Elvas, historic fort citadel on the Portugal-Spain border

In Cathar Country

I never knew this, but there's a corner of France scattered with 1,000-year-old castles on top of hills. Travel down towards the Pyrénées, into the region of Languedoc, and there is a whole area known as Pays Cathare - or Cathar Country - close to the Spanish border. And you'll immediately notice that there are … Continue reading In Cathar Country