3+ weeks in Portugal

i’ve been thinking about working remotely for a few weeks from some warm[er] country for quite some time. finally i’ve tried – i’ve spent 3+weeks in Portugal while taking just 2 days of holidays. all went surprisingly well.

i flew to Faro at the end of October and came back to Sweden from Lisbon in the middle of November. i’ve stayed at 3 places – in Portimao, Lagos and Lisbon [where i’ve met my parents for a few days].

during my whole stay in Portimao and Lagos it seemed like I was the only visitor and the only user of the internet connection in the hostels – flat ping, no packet losses. i’ve done plenty of voip calls including conversations with the clients, quite a bit of coding, answering tones of mails as usual and supporting few users remotely. Lisbon at first was a bit more problematic but at the end I’ve unplugged some desktop, connected my laptop over a cable and all went smoothly.

my toolset – besides the usual suspects – putty, remote desktop, openvpn client for windows and skype included zoiper – reasonably working free SIP VoIP client which I used to handle both my internal and external calls.

1h of the time difference and no lunch break gave me pretty good work schedule. I’ve started at 7am local time and was ready to go out and enjoy the outdoors at 3pm local time. Portimao and Lagos were pretty relaxing – i had great surroundings to see so every afternoon meant 8-10km walk, during the weekends even 20km. shore near Portimao was rough and full of cliffs; around Lagos – on the east side I had sandy beach, on the west – high cliffs.

Portimao - cliffs on the west side. Portimao - the east side cliffs and the lighthouse.

"My" Lagos office; bidet included! Shore at the east of Lagos

Lisbon was more tiring with usual big-city traffic, but worth seeing too. it’s full of narrow streets going up and down with sneaky short trams rolling around.

Lisbon - the "sneaky" tram Lisbon - view from the Jardim Amália Rodrigues towards the old town

we’ve spent one of the days on the suburbs – in Cascais. they have free bike rental there – pretty nice idea. we’ve taken 17km journey along the rocky coast, some dunes and back to the town.

the time of the year was pretty good – there were some showers, maybe 2 evenings were rainy but overall – very good. i took a swim in the ocean once [I should have done it more], temperature during the day was between 15 and 20C.

maybe it’s autumn or maybe it’s the current state of the economy – especially there – Portugal looked sad and [economically] depressed. plenty of shops/restaurants closed down. lavish ‘branded’ shops in the center of Lisbon could not fix that image. abandoned buildings in all the cities i’ve visited… and revolutionary slogans all around. surely more government intervention and increasing the minimal wages will help them recover :/

general strike action... surely more of government regulation will solve the problems introduced by it in the first place. abandoned office spaces in Lisbon

some pictures from the trip – here.

3 Comments

  1. You should vist Oporto next time, great Food, I suggest the “Francesinha” and I can point you to the best places too, and don’t forget to try the Port Wine ;)

    Now… the beaches… Cold and Windy.. but still nice to see.

    I’m Portuguese and I must say you’re quit right about the state of thing… economy related.

    Even now so close to Christmas… lights are not the same… most business in the Center are indeed close, Shopping Center are full though, and people do spend money even with all the fuck* huge taxes, but local business is dying and the Government is robbing us… I do see new ideas… invest in Bio-food markets for example has increased but again the government takes away all profit to pay for the interest of the loans by IMF, I’ll the debts are still not payed and probably will take much more years to be!

    If it wasn’t for people like you.. tourists you visit and spend money we would be even more fu***d… This summer tourism did increase a lot, maybe the crisis helped with that I guess Portugal was in a lot of worldwide news.

    Anyway I myself am working remotely/freelance, for Companies outside Portugal, cause the wage here is shit and if its a little higher then average the government takes it away… probably to pay for their BMW’s, 5* hotles etc…

    So yeah economy related we are a mess… but its a beautiful country, good (as in tasty) food, if you like it – good wine, and people are very nice to tourists in general.
    If you’re looking for beautiful and relaxed visit North and the country side but honestly you will find the most awesome Landscapes from North to South.

    • thanks for the comment; i’ve spent one night in Porto in 2007 but that was very brief passing by. maybe some day again…

      it’s sad seeing a country taxed to death in the name of failed ideologies [… but so is the whole EU, some countries just have more momentum and wealth to waste]. i look on Portugal partially from perspective of someone who lived in Poland for most of my life; by our standards you’re still wealthier country; back at my home land companies are strangled by taxation, piles of bureaucracy and corruption on the top of it. our public debt is rising so the next few generations are enslaved. i guess that might sound familiar to you.

  2. totally, I hope in Poland they don’t let things get to Portugal state…

    Portugal was a rich country in the Past, even if most money was in Government/Kings Etc… but this days public money is just being given away to “friends and family” of politicians… the corruption has no end, but the people themselves are taking to long to open their eyes… I’e opened mine and can only feel said and make sure to enjoy whats still good, and help local economy has I can!

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