On the road again - Pack Easy Migratory Bird Mik Discovers Europe

Finally on the road again

Wandering off, being on the road, discovering and experiencing occupies a large place in our travelling hearts. The past two years have shown us this impressively: how we have missed carefree travelling. Fortunately, most countries and regions of Europe are now open to us again, and we can once more live our beloved passion to the full. Pack Easy migratory bird Mik spread his explorer wings this summer and looked around Portugal, Norway, France and Switzerland. Mik returned with a suitcase full of experiences and memories of enriching encounters with cultures and countries, their people and their delicious culinary delights.


Europe's most westerly destination

An adventurous migratory bird, Mik packed the tried and tested hard case for her trip to Portugal, which made a very good trap not only on the plane but also in the rented e-car.


Lisbon is a place of longing and so Mik fell head over heels in love with the Portuguese capital. From the centre of Baixa, the legendary tram line 28 with its original cars from the 1930s leads through the winding alleys of the ancient district of Alfama, past the Miradouro Santa Luzia and the mighty Sé Cathedral. Of course,the historic Belém Tower and the Elevador de Santa Justa are not to be missed. Portugal's most famous lift connects the lower town with Bairro Alto, the upper town. The neo-Gothic style tower is 45 metres high and quite simply unique.

Culinary-wise, Lisbon is like a land of milk and honey. Countless restaurants, cafés, bars and markets serve up a beguiling selection. The world-famous Pastéis de Nata are a must-try. The delicious puff pastry cakes with vanilla custard have sweetened everyday Portuguese life for hundreds of years and are available everywhere in the city.

The Douro is the third longest river on the Iberian Peninsula and rises in the Spanish province of Soria. It flows for 213 kilometres in Portugal from Barca d'Alva westwards to Porto, where it flows into the Atlantic. The region at the headwaters of the Douro is home to the oldest wine-growing region in the world. Grapes have beencultivated there for several thousand years, including fruit for the world-famous Port wine. The region with its countless terraced vineyards is oneof the most beautiful cultivated landscapes in the world and can be easily explored by rental car. During the grape harvest in October, countless festivals take place where you can taste the delicious wines from the region.

Particularly worth seeing is the small village of Pinhão with its railway station decorated with azulejos - blue and white ceramic tiles. Since 1815, the name Quinta de la Rosahas stood for first-class wine. At the winery near Pinhão, guests and connoisseurs have access not only to the wine cellar but also to an excellent restaurant, a microbrewery and charming guest rooms. Mik enjoyed her stay at the winery to the fullest.

As the second largest city, Porto is like a motley summary of Portugal. While it is a vibrant metropolis, it also exudes a leisurely and relaxed atmosphere. The hilly old town is best explored on foot, as views of the river valley cut deep into the rock or the countless bridges crossing the Douro open up everywhere. Oppositethe centre is the narrow suburb of Vila Nova de Gaia with its cobbled streets. Under the hunched tiled roofs of time-honoured merchants' houses are stored precious stocks of port wine, the great treasure of Porto. Here, wineries invite visitors to tours and tastings. The Douro River flows through the middle of the city, where old wine transport ships set off on round trips. A few kilometres downstream, Atlantic beaches invite you to swim and surf, while Portugal's culinary diversity is served up in countless restaurants, bars and markets.

Porto is good to explore during a weekend trip. Mik, however, stopped for a few enjoyable days at the end of her Portugal trip, and was already making next travel plans: someday she will pack her hard shell suitcase again and return.