Discovering Portugal (3)

After exploring its castle, we spent another day walking Marvão’s hilly and winding cobble-stoned streets. In addition to a variety of restaurants, there were shops with artesanal goodies: olives and chocolates, jellies and pottery, artwork and handbags made of fine, smooth cork from trees that fill the neighboring countryside. The journey south continued to the second century Roman ruins of São Cucufate. Roaming  the empty site opened our imagination to those who lived there so many years ago.

Cucufate 1

Cucufate 8

Later we arrived in the small town of Beja. After getting settled in our hotel we encountered some difficulties: Visiting hours (and days) for attractions in Portugal vary greatly, and this time we found the castle, museum, and church all closed. After a peek at a former convent, now the Pousada de São Francisco, what was left to do in this sleepy village but shop? On the main drag we scored a great pair of men’s jeans for about twenty dollars. Then it was time for coffee at Smiles Cafè (the name comes from owner Gertrudes Galhana’s husband’s band, Smiles n Cries). The choice between homemade chocolate cake and homemade cheesecake was too tough, so we bought and enjoyed both as we studied the shop’s wall devoted to iconic music legend Bob Marley.

Like the title of one of the Jamaican great’s songs, we needed to  “Keep on Moving”. Next time, next stop: Cuba. No, not that one. Cuba, Portugal, home of Christopher Columbus.

Smiles Cafe - Sweets

Smiles Cafe- Marley Wall


About Tricia Pimental

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tricia Pimental's second memoir, A Movable Marriage, has received 5 Star reviews from both Epic Book Quest and Readers' Favorite. It's available on Amazon in both Kindle ( and print ( versions. She is also the author of two Royal Palm Literary Award Competition-honored books: Rabbit Trail: How a Former Playboy Bunny Found Her Way, and Slippery Slopes. Other work has appeared in International Living Magazine; A Janela, the quarterly magazine of International Women in Portugal; and anthologies compiled by the Florida Writers Association and the National League of American Pen Women. A member of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and a former Toastmaster, Ms. Pimental resides in Portugal. She can be reached at and on Twitter @Tricialafille.
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2 Responses to Discovering Portugal (3)

  1. Ninette Bravo says:

    Brings back such great memories of out travels. Zeus was great on our So. Cal. trip, but he has a long way to go to be up to Carson’s standards! Love the green wall. Wow, Marley was truly internationally loved.

  2. They are the best travelers, our guys. Keith sent me a photo today of Carson, hair blowing in the wind, at the ocean. Have to put it on FB. Thanks for always commenting. XO

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