The basilica of Santa Luzia at Viana do Castelo, Portugal. Image courtesy of Forrest Walker

How was your trip to Portugal, Forrest Walker?

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Money-saving tips for Portugal

I hope you enjoy the third in my weekly interview series about travelling in Portugal. Allow me to introduce Forrest Walker.

Hi Forrest. Can you introduce yourself, please?

I am a 59-year-old American Expat living in Sharjah. Where? Sharjah is next to Dubai.  I write. Travel blogs mostly but I have one award-winning novel and am working on my second novel.

When did you last visit / travel in Portugal and how long did you stay?

My wife and I visited Portugal to attend the TBU conference in Porto, Sept 2012. We stayed an extra few days to see more of this wonderful country.

Did you come for business, pleasure or something else?

Pleasure, I always travel for pleasure.

How did you get here?

By air. Dubai to Madrid, onto Porto.

Whereabouts did you stay?

Mostly the Pousada chain, all of which were absolutely wonderful.

And what sort of accommodation did you have? How was it?

The best. The Pousada chain is wonderful, warm and rich in history.

Entrance to Pousada hotel

Entrance to Pousada hotel. Image courtesy of Forrest Walker

How did you get around while you were here?

Private Coach.

What research, if any, did you do before your trip?

The usual, Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet.

Where did you find the most useful information?

Trip Advisor.

What were you most looking forward to doing or seeing in Portugal?

Fatima and tasting port!

Of the places you visited, which would you recommend to other travellers and why?

Porto and the surrounding areas were very special. The Tourist authority did a great job of showing us the vineyards and medieval towns. I would recommend Porto to travellers without hesitation.  Also, Fatima. The shrine is simply amazing.

Is there anywhere you think people should avoid?

I did not have any negative experiences.

Did you pick up any practical or money-saving tips for travelling in Portugal that you could share with us?

A word to the wise, the best Port is very expensive.

Is there anywhere or anything that was a letdown? Why?

Not really.

Stunning tiles covering a Portuguese house

Stunning tiles covering a Portuguese house. Image courtesy of Forrest Walker

What about the food – did you try any local dishes? Any you’d recommend?

Oh yes. We were treated by the Tourist Authority to  magnificent  meals of Portuguese delicacies.

Did you buy any souvenirs? What / Why not?

I bought a baseball cap made from cork! I love it. I also bought some Port.

Could sum up your experience of Portugal in a sentence, please?

Warm welcoming people and inexpensive luxury.

What would you do differently if you could do this trip over?

Spend more time and see more of the country.

Would you like to come back to Portugal? If the answer’s yes, where in particular?

Yes.  The north-east. What I saw was beautiful.

Fancy Portuguese door with old fashioned scooter

Fancy Portuguese door with old-fashioned scooter. Image courtesy of Forrest Walker.

Blogger Bio: Forrest Walker can normally be found blogging about travel at The Other Side of the Coconut. Like me, he has a fascination with doors and windows and has a great slide show of the ones he spotted in Portugal. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter @travel blogger12

Would you like to be interviewed about your experience of travelling in Portugal? If so, please get in touch.