Tour a Portuguese Country House (1)
Part One: The Outsides
Note: This is a pictorial tour that extends over two posts. You are viewing Part 1.
It’s been a few months now since my friend Hannah ended a video chat from California by saying, “Send me photos of your house!”
“I will!” I promised.
I still haven’t sent those photos. So this post is for Hannah and for all of you who want to see what a house in the Portuguese countryside looks like.
Usually my posts here are more wordy than photo-heavy—I am a word person after all. But today I’m going to keep the words to a minimum to make room for a pictorial tour of the place I call home. (This one is going to be quite a scroller, so you might want to click through to view on a browser instead of in your email, where it will likely get cut off.)
We live in the countryside near Castelo de Palmela, just 10km over the hill from Setúbal. Unlike in the U.S., here most country estates, homes, and farms are completely fenced in or surrounded by cement walls with imposing metal gates.
My husband was a bit put off by this aesthetic when we first started looking at properties outside the city center. But having grown up in the wide open cornfields of northern Illinois, I subscribe to Robert Frost’s wisdom that “good fences make good neighbors” and find the often brightly-painted walls charming. When the green gates clang shut behind me, it’s like an announcement that I’ve entered my own private retreat. It never fails to give me that deep-sigh welcome-home feeling.
Bem-vindo a Oliveira do Paraiso!
Our property is 3,000 square meters or .74 acres. It is completely surrounded by a cement wall and includes our house, a carport, a dog kennel, an outdoor (covered) kitchen, a large patio, lush green lawn, a second building called The Annex, a garden, small orchard, and as-yet-undefined area we call “the back 40,” which includes a small cement shed that is dearly beloved by several colonies of ants and a few fat geckos. I’m not including photos of everything, just highlights of my favorite bits.
I knew this post would be a long scroll, but there is just so much to show you. Ready to take off your boots and come inside the house? Head on over to the Tour, Part Two—coming to your inbox in just another minute, or an easy click away if you’re reading on a browser!
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