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How highly would you prioritize Portugal?

How highly would you prioritize Portugal?

Dec 7th, 2014, 04:26 PM
  #21  
 
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I appreciate local patriotism, but would be interesting to hear in what way Portugal was more ( or equally) instrumental in contributing to the body of world culture than Spain, England or France.
danon is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 05:55 PM
  #22  
 
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Danon, portuguese were the 1st europeans arriving to India and the last to leave. The 1st in China and the last to leave. In the process some kind of footprint was left behind, at least the kick off in the concept of globalization. By some reason you say "arigato" to thank in Japan. I don't want to convert a travel forum in a geo/political/historical debate but IMDonehere statement was way too grotesque to be left unnoticed.
If we want to restrain the discussion to the field of new ideas, French revolution brought the ideals of human rights, liberty, equality and fraternity. The Italians had the Renaissance mouvement, mostly in arts. But if we keep in the field of new ideas, than the Ancient Greece is inbateable.
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Dec 7th, 2014, 06:03 PM
  #23  
 
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Unbeatable. And with this I rest my case wishing Willtravel a very pleasant travel whatever is the choice. Among Italy, Spain an Portugal, you can't choose unwisely.
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Dec 7th, 2014, 06:03 PM
  #24  
 
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Lobo

Please list the Portuguese artists, writers, and musicians/composers who have contributed to western culture, not just to the Portuguese culture?
IMDonehere is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 06:32 PM
  #25  
 
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I acknowledge the following is rude, but I do not prioritize countries, I visit them. When I see business jargon injected into travel discussions, it makes me think this is one more task that someone must accomplish. Each country has its charms and only that person can say what that appeal may be.

Please note, I have been to Portugal on numerous occasions, including Madeira, so I like Portugal and the Portuguese but question remains.
IMDonehere is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 06:33 PM
  #26  
 
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The fact that Portuguese were remarkable sailors end explorers does not make their
contribution to Western culture equal to those of England, France or Spain.
danon is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 06:56 PM
  #27  
 
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Will Travel, I had a similar dilemma. I am glad that I visited Portugal, even though for a short time.

Lisbon is a wonderful place. We also went Sintra on a day trip.
It's fabulous and deserves minimum 4 to 5 days if you are hard pressed on time of two weeks. We took an overnight train from Madrid and back, to save on time.

Lot of culture, architecture and the social weave that I liked the most. It is vibrant and laid back.
It is fabulous and you will regret not going there.
You never know if you can make it again to this part.
Paragkash is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 06:59 PM
  #28  
 
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No Country is an Island unto itself.

For a small country Portugal has dome it's share.

Also during the WW II, the wealthy, the Kings, Princes and Politicians that required a safe haven....many fled to Portugal..... a country that was "neutral" but allowed the Allies to use their off shore Air Bases.

I think that is a contribution in humanity .

sandralist outlined everything very well.


http://theculturetrip.com/europe/por...to-find-them-/
Percy is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 06:59 PM
  #29  
 
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When I read "the ways European thinking shaped the world" I thought Sandralist was referring to the encounters and disencounters of civilizations and answered accordingly.
If the discussion is about the countries where arts flourished, a few non cited countries pop to mind as Ireland (literature), Austria and Germany (music).
Both interpretations are possible, but I prefer mine since Greece (referring to a 3rd country to avoid local patriotisms) is the country which thinking modeled part of who we are and think and Greek language can hardly be heard on MTV nowadays (or in any other century).
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Dec 7th, 2014, 07:21 PM
  #30  
 
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When we visit a country my wife and I not only read about the sights but want to know about the history and culture past and present. We both want to be good guests, so we try and learn a few words in the language of that country. It often shocks people from other countries that Americans know a little about their culture and history.

But when you put in the effort learn about a country, you also learn balance. You try understand what is good and what is not so good about a country. And simply because you seek balance, others often think you are highlighting the bad.
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Dec 7th, 2014, 07:23 PM
  #31  
 
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Danon and IMDonehere, this was a pleasant discussion from my point of view. It's clear to me that we were talking about different things and now I understand your point. I appologize for any misplaced words.
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Dec 7th, 2014, 07:35 PM
  #32  
 
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Percy please note:

The humanitarian effort that you describe was under a pro- Fascist dictator named Salazar whose oppression lasted in the late 1960's. Royalty, real and fake, were allowed to stay in Portugal during WWII, because of certain contributions made to Salazar. I will spare you other details as his dealings with The Nazis.

While not as a bad as his neighbor Franco, it was the main reason Portugal did not become an EU member until 1986.
But what is interesting about Lisbon during WWII was that it was center for espionage during WWII due its "neutral" status.
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Dec 7th, 2014, 07:39 PM
  #33  
 
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Lobo

We truly like visiting Portugal and we find the Portuguese to be a warm and inviting people. Our last visit to Portugal was when we were in Galicia and a cousin drove the longest time just to have a meal in the middle of the woods about an hour over the Spanish border. Also, not too many Americans have been to Madeira, but we also enjoyed our stay there as well.
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Dec 8th, 2014, 04:45 AM
  #34  
 
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Hi DANON,

"...but would be interesting to hear in what way Portugal was more (or equally) instrumental in contributing to the body of world culture than Spain, England or France."

A few historical/geographical facts:

Topographically, Portugal, being bounded only by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean, was remote from much of the cultural interplay of European cultures over the centuries. On our trip we were told, therefore, that Portugal always "looked to the sea" for its expansion and commercial interests.

Lisbon, and much of Portugal, suffered a devastating earthquake on All Saints Day, November 1, 1755 from which, according to many observers, the country never fully recovered. The earthquake was followed by fire and a tsunami - then panic and desolation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1755_Lisbon_earthquake

IAMDONEHERE observes, "The people are kind but benignly morose." From my short stay there, somehow this description strikes a chord. Definitely worth a visit though..
latedaytraveler is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 06:23 AM
  #35  
 
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"Morose" is not a word I would use. If I were to characterize the cultural atmosphere in Lisbon, I would use these words: lively, young (but not rowdy), safe, hip, friendly, outgoing, warm, hospitable, energetic, happy, affordable.



We especially loved the narrow, winding hilltop passages, with multiple tables set in the middle of huge cobblestone stairway landings, which became very active at night.
Tabernash2 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 06:33 AM
  #36  
 
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Saving this thread - great discussion, interesting thoughts and ideas.
progol is online now  
Dec 8th, 2014, 06:54 AM
  #37  
 
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lateday,
I am familiar with the geography and history of the country, the topic was the body of western
culture ( music, painting, architecture...) and Portugal's place in it.
In the end, it is something one can argue for a long time....
(And, there are Chinese, Egyptians, Persians, Indians ...their history , culture, inventions...)

For many travelers those issues are not very important - they mostly enjoy
the scenery, food, "people watching" and taking photos .

Although Ireland produced my favorite poet, the country itself was of no great interest to me.
danon is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 07:02 AM
  #38  
 
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Good point, danon. Lisbon is very photogenic!
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Dec 8th, 2014, 07:35 AM
  #39  
 
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ladydaytraveler:

you are right about Portugal's seemingly isolated location from the rest of Europe.

The 1755 earthquake so devastated Lisbon and many areas in Portugal, that you almost think of two eras of Portugal

one before the earthquake and one after the earthquake.

The district of Baixa in Lisbon was totally created after the earthquake, while the upper hill Alfama was relatively spared.

IMDonehere:
There are many reason why Portugal did not become an EU member until 1986.

They had many internal problems after Salazar died in 1970.

there was the Carnation Revolution.

they had their first free election in 50 years in 1976.


then the colonial wars in Africa were coming to an end.

all the colonies except Macao were granted their independence
and so ending many unwinnable wars and bringing the troops home.

this made the Portuguese people happy, what country is not happy when its troops come home!

after more than a decade of struggle they were accepted into the EU ,the membership was signed by Portugal's first civilian President in 60 years. (Mario Soares)

I like the fact that Portugal was not heavily influenced by Europe over the centuries because, Portugal has architecture that you will not see anywhere in Europe.
Percy is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 08:36 AM
  #40  
 
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Percy
Basically what you describe is the residue of the dictatorship that prevented entry into the EU after the death of Salazar.

I stand by characteristic of the Portuguese people as morose, as I have seen it described elsewhere as melancholic.
IMDonehere is offline  

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