Portugal is the poorest country in Europe, with its people perhaps being the happiest people in Europe. Portugal is an old country, counted by the Romans to have been a part of Spain. Their history of exploring once dominated the known world with such explorers as Vasco da Gama and Magellan.
During World War II, Lisbon, the capital was a city of intrigue, as spies from all sides of the war met and traded secrets. At one time, the entire region was conquered by the Moors, who came up from Africa like a storm, yet left such memorable mementos as azule tiles and a unique cuisine not known anywhere in the world, but in Portugal.
No matter what has gone on in the rest of the world, the people of have survived in spite of the problems around them. They have drawn closer together in their pursuits, and gave us Porto wine, a smooth, strong wine that has a taste all its own. They also gave us Vino Verde wine, a new,light green wine that is excellent with dinner.
For years, and even until today, fishing was a staple product of the land, and the men would go out to sea in their specially designed boats, and some would never come back, which gave rise to Fado, the songs of lament that personify this land of beauty and tragedy. The widow’s walk on top of the house were where the wives would watch and wait for their husband’s boat to appear on the horizon.
The county is primarily a land of agriculture with its famous Cork Oaks, where cork actually is harvested, and the many grape arbors that dot the land. Large cities such as Lisbon and Porto in the north, are large shipping centers, but the spirit of the people has been the stalwart force that has allowed them to carry on.