Thursday, August 21, 2008

An English Spaniard in Portugal

Just back from a great trip up to Portugal, finding more great things to do for YouGoDo.

After a short while in Portugal it became apparent that it is surprisingly different to here in Spain.

  • They seem to share a similar ‘love of their neighbours’ to the English and the Welsh, the English and the Scots and the English and the French ;-)

  • The language, while appearing to read very similar is pronounced very different – a much harsher language. M’s are swapped for N’s in many cases and they have many completely different words to keep you on your toes – Frango, Obrigado...

  • At times they make the Spanish look very organised – and I mean this in a nice way – the Spanish easy going life style was one of the attractions for me!

We started in the Algarve which is a beautiful spot, staying in Praia de Luz, and travelling as far as the South Western tip at Sagres.


My daughters out YouGoDo’d me taking part in a Dolphin Interaction Programme at ZooMarine. It was my oldest Daughters birthday surprise and she was beaming a smile as wide as the bridge we crossed from Spain to Portugal for the full 30 minutes in the pool, and for quite a while after! Not a cheap experience but worth every penny to see that smile.



From here up to Cascais, a lovely town on the coast near Lisbon. Some great days out from here to Lisbon itself, up the rigged coast and inland to Sintra, which is a stunning place.


Again my Daughters out YouGoDo’d me trying their hands at Segway riding for the first time. Just the one spill for the youngest - which was well away from the 200m metre cliff edge!

Then a stop off at Cordoba on the way home (which proved a little too culture heavy for the daughters!) – “Cordoba in August, are you mad?” is the question asked by all the locals, but it was very pleasant, and after the cooler nights in Portugal it was oddly nice nice to be back in the heat. After 3 years here in Spain my Geordie origin blood must be thinning! I even went out wearing jeans - no self respecting Geordie would wear a jacket on a night out, up the Big Market, in Newcastle in January (and that includes the girls!).

Back to YouGoDo, our promotional time in Portugal is showing up on the site with a host of great new things to do in Portugal coming on board.

The new, much more user friendly, search screen has now been live for a few weeks and, from our statistics, this is proving popular with our users as the averages for ‘pages per visit’ and ‘time spent on site’ have both increased.

A few of the great new activities added recently:

The Zoomarine Dolphin Interaction on the Algarve – and no I did not get a discount!



Pena Palace and Park in Sintra



The wacky UFO bar in Bratislava



The huge Quarry Lorry Taxi tours at Erzberg in Austria



Stunning Rain Forest Aerial Tramway and Zip Wire adventures in Dominica, Saint Lucia, Jamaica and Costa Rica



Europe’s biggest Casino at Estoril



Jet Boat Rides in Surfers Paradise



Keep them coming!



Cheers



Paul - Back to real office work then and home in the heat

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