41.1579° N • 8.6291° W

Atlantic Route / Week 1

Having touched down in Lisbon, our travellers Yldau and Fabian immediately immersed themselves in the Portuguese way of life. Enjoying great food, meeting friendly people and coming across the vibrant music scene, happening on the streets and in the old houses, with the sound flowing out of the open windows: They just had to check it out.

From the capital, they went to Cabo da Roca, the Western most part of the European mainland. It is a magical place, just right for some reflection on, and inspiration for, their journey ahead. Read more about this stop here.

In Coimbra, the innovative spirit of tech entrepreneurship fostered at both the business incubator and the accelerator connected to Coimbra University’s Pedro Nunes Institute made a big impression on our travellers, as did some arcane academic traditions and outfits – it is one of the oldest universities in the world, after all. Read more about the projects they visited here.

In Vila do Conde, Yldau and Fabian enjoyed some beach time and learned about the Portuguese Camino de Santiago, which crosses through this old seaside town. Read more about the Caminho Português here.

Next, the country’s newest landmark, the Leixoes Cruise Terminal was on their itinerary. Greeting visitors from land and from the sea with its iconic shape, in the busy port just outside the country’s second city, Porto, the terminal still proved a little tricky to actually get to. But our travellers are not for giving up easily, and they were rewarded with a close-up encounter of the building, and of the eminent marine science research centre CIIMAS which it also houses. Read more about the cruise terminal and CIIMAS here.

They finished their Portuguese leg with a challenge on the border to Spain, where two small cities, Chaves in Portugal and Verín in Spain, working together against the odds of different time zones have created the first Eurocity! Read more about it here.

Portugal didn’t disappoint our travellers, to put it mildly, and it was with a little sadness that they said goodbye to the first country on their Atlantic voyage. Will Spain be able to live up to expectations? Stay tuned!

See also

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Utrecht offers refugees and asylum-seekers the means to start rebuilding their lives immediately – even before they have a residence permit. A special “Refugee Launch Pad” created with EU funding helps newcomers integrate quickly into Dutch society while also giving them the tools to make it anywhere.