There are two big topics that seem to dominate the tours of Portugal, the first (and most important), is fighting the Spanish. This is not surprising, the history between the two neighbours has been long and bloody. Independence was hard fought for and the Portuguese didn’t hold back when it came to moving forward, generally killing as many Spanish as they could in the process. The second is nostalgia for the golden age of Portugal. Back in the 1400’s when most of the world was trying to work out which leg to put in their trousers first, Portugal had established themselves as the most important nation in the world by exerting a stranglehold on the trade out of Europe.
LADS LADS LADS! LADS ON TOUR! LADS LADS LADS! As the chant echoed through the narrow streets of Barcelona, I reminisced briefly about the heady days of my youth in Spain; at the time, I never paused for very long to consider the many and varied stains of unknown origin which were ever-present on the bed sheets in the more cost effective hotels that I frequented. Similarly I don’t recall worrying about the potentially tetanus filled scratches which I seemed to mysteriously collect on random body parts each night when ‘out on the strip’. But perhaps the most potent non-memory of all is the immediate and visceral muscle memory reaction I retain to this day when offered tequila in any form. Ah, those were the days.