I've been rubbish at keeping up with blogging and social media in general over the past week. I find it really difficult to blog abroad especially in Portugal as I have nobody to take my pictures - other than my dad who usually does a pretty good job but we just haven't had the time! Instead, I've been carrying my camera just about everywhere with me in the hope of having something to share. I introduced this mini blog series, Last Week In Portugal I..., last year when I spent four weeks abroad over the summer and this year I've decided to do the same. I like the idea of adding a weekly roundup, especially whilst on holiday, so you can see what I got up to and have a little insight into my holidays in Portugal (it isn't sun, sand and beaches as you might expect).
Summer in Portugal is all about festas, translated this means party which I guess is what it is but it just doesn't feel right calling it a party; the week we arrived was the festa in our city which is a pretty big deal and probably one of my favourites. The streets are illuminated with lights, filled with people and stalls selling just about everything. Every night there are artists who attract groups of people to the riverbank to watch them perform; Quim Barreiros was one I simply couldn't miss... if you know, you know.
The riverbank is full of stalls selling anything from food to knockoffs (way too many knockoffs!) of course I'm most interested in the food - one of the best things about the festa is the possibility of eating churros every single day.
Friday night is the big one, the roads are closed and carnival begins; ok, ok, it isn't really carnival but it's close...
...and as the night is still young groups of people get together to celebrate Noite dos Bombos (night of the drummers) the name says it all. Crowds of people fill the streets with their drums until the early hours of the morning, it's a tradition that is well known in the North of Portugal.
Saturday welcomes the more traditional side of things where, once again the roads are closed off, but this time it's for a procession of people carrying Saints - probably not the best way to explain it (hopefully the pictures will make more sense!) with Portugal being a predominantly Catholic country, festas are always in the name of the Patron Saint of the city or area and there's a whole lot of Church and Saints involved.
The celebrations come to an end at 1AM with an epic fireworks display. This photo really doesn't do it justice but we lost my parents and couldn't get in touch with them so I wasn't really thinking about photos at the time.
This probably isn't what you'd expect to see from my week in Portugal but I've never really got to share this, other than on Snapchat, so I thought it would be something different to share - some of you may even find it interesting. Let me know if you're Portuguese or if you're from somewhere else in the world where you experience this, or similar, I'd love to know!