Walking Europe's Edge: Reflections on Portugal (Paperback)
Portugal is both a celebrated and an unknown land. Millions come to enjoy its beaches and the fashionable coastal cities of Lisbon and Porto. In this sense it looms large in the minds of many. But its out-of-the-way places, its turbulent history and contemporary challenges are little-known outside of the country's boundaries.
From autumn 2018 to spring 2019, British journalist Stephen Powell travelled the length of Portugal, following a zigzag path of nearly 1,500 kilometres on foot. Away from the mass tourism, he wanted to form his own unhurried impressions of this very distinctive country.
He discovered a very mixed reality. The dark side was the blight of rural exodus that is emptying so many villages. But he also found a profoundly generous, warm-hearted people with time to converse - a gift that is not found everywhere.
"Stephen Powell's beautifully written account of his life-changing walk through Portugal enriches the reader with his insights and impressions of the country's history, culture, scenery and spirit. For me, the book was a fascinating journey of discovery through Portugal's lesser-known provinces, further enhanced with exquisite illustrations by two of his daughters, Megan and Rachel. Simply wonderful."
Valerie Poore, memoir author