December 30, 2015
"I awoke wrapped in a vast, sweet silence. There was a station, perfectly still and clean swept, with small white roses climbing the walls, and more roses in clumps in the garden, where blooming mimosa flowers gave off their scent. A pale young man in a honey-colored coat bent his cane on the ground as he watched the train pensively. Overhead shone the deep rich and soft blue sky in which my eyes were bathed."
Eça de Queiroz's nostalgic remembrance of Portugal dates back to 1901. While in today's 21st century Portugal much has changed, the essence of the nation's welcoming sun and a green countryside remains the same and the Portuguese of today still long for the cool rivers, granite mountains and endless forests of the nation as well.
You see, Portugal is on a peninsula, which means that in a space the size of Indiana you find a dramatically changing landscape, micro-climates,and flora. Today's Portugal has a sincere dedication to conservation, renewable energy, and green tourism. For such a small nation, a large portion of coastlines and interior have been set aside for conservation to protect the endangered species, ancient ruins, and timeless ways of life. A reserve is not only a soul reaching experience, but it is also newsworthy, as very little has been written on the wild and green side of Portugal.
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