St Vincent, the forgotten Saint

St Vincent, the forgotten SaintCape St. Vincent, one of the major geographical features of the Algarve with its millennia of history; The Monastery of São Vicente de Fôra in Lisbon; St Vincent’s Anglican Church of the Algarve; we are indeed surrounded by the name of St. Vincent. But who was he?

There is little to give you the answer anywhere near the Cape itself apart from a small statue of him in the little Church of Nossa Senhora de Graça inside the fortaleza in Sagres and some scant information on him in the museum in the Cape lighthouse complex, and even nearly all Guide Books give him but a passing reference. This is particularly odd and indeed sad since he is, in fact, the Patron Saint of Lisbon (and perhaps almost as importantly to some, the Patron saint of Wine Producers!). 

The New Year calendar explained

fireworksNew Year is the time at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count increments by one. Many cultures celebrate the event in some manner.

The New Year of the Gregorian calendar, today mostly in use, falls on 1 January (New Year's Day), as was the case both in the old Roman calendar (at least after about 713 BCE) and in the Julian calendar that succeeded it.

Nazi archives shed light on WWII atrocities in Greece

acropFrom the number of Cretans to be executed for every dead German soldier to advice on which brothel to use, new research is shedding light on Nazi wartime atrocities in Greece.

Greece's defense ministry on Monday unveiled its first findings from research into formerly classified Wehrmacht papers found in archives in the United States.

Magna Carta comes to Portugal

The Portuguese National Archives will host the Magna Carta in Portugal in DecemberThe British Embassy in Lisbon, in partnership with the National Archives - Torre do Tombo, are pleased to announce that Portugal will be one of the countries included in the Magna Carta Global Tour, to commemorate its 800 years.

Over the course of four months an original version of the Magna Carta from 1217 and the only surviving King’s Writ from Runnymede in 1215, on loan from Hereford Cathedral, will tour seven countries and four continents, travelling a total of approximately 65,000 miles. The tour will include New York, Luxembourg, China, Australia, Singapore, Malta and Portugal, in the second week of December.

Restored HMS Pickle replica to set sail from Portugal

Admiral Horatio Nelson's warship HMS PickleA replica of Admiral Horatio Nelson's warship HMS Pickle is to set sail from Portugal to a new home on the Humber following months of restoration.

Finishing touches are being made to the vessel by a team from North Lincolnshire after the unique ship fell into ruin. The schooner brought the news of Nelson's victory and death to England in November 1805.

CLICK HERE to see a video.

Cerro da Vila

Cerro da VilaI arrived in Vilamoura Marina in December 1992 on my way to Gibraltar in Henry Morgan my Rival 34, I was not too impressed, the place seemed to lack any natural ambience. I walked ashore to find a supermarket and the old part of the town. I found the supermarket but never found the old part of the town.


SegoviaI have to confess that until very recently the only Segovia that I knew of was Andrés Segovia the very well known guitarist. Then in October 2010 while looking at Google images for Roman ruins in the Iberian Peninsula, I discovered the Roman aqueduct at Segovia and read that it is almost 2000 years old, nearly 30 metres high and made with large blocks of stone with no cement! It was photographs of this incredible aqueduct that persuaded me to spend some time visiting Roman ruins in Spain and Portugal in January 2011.

Journey to Portugal Part 16: Beja

 Torre de Menagem with horseshoe arch windowA satisfying morning´s halt (reports the AA Explorer Guide to Portugal). You can take in most of the sights in ... half a day, according to The Rough Guide to Portugal. Neither was Lonely Planet encouraging: At its worst, Baixo Alentejo´s principal town ... is dull and depressing, with drunks often lounging in the main pedestrianised street... We had already visited Beja previously on two occasions and determined to try out the Pousada de São Francisco again, and we booked for 5 January nights.