Portugal: Top 5 Things to Know Before You Go

Image available on https://www.chattergoldstudios.com/Photography/Places/Lisbon-Portugal/i-3mLzGPx/buy

Portugal is hot these days. Everyone seems to be moving here or buying property. My husband claims everyone has a bad case of fomo, but I am here to tell you that are some things you should know before you book your trip to this beautiful land of my ancestry. If you plan on moving here sight unseen (yes, people are actually moving here without visiting first, but that’s another blog post), then you should subscribe to my blog because I’ll be posting my honest observations.

  1. Leave your heels at home. Once upon a time, I was the master of running in heels on the cobblestone streets of Greene Street in NYC, but I dare not wear them here. Those beautiful tiles and hilly cobble stone streets that pave each road are extremely slippery when it rains. You will literally go hydroplaning if you don’t have comfortable, sturdy shoes on with good grip. Bring sneakers “trainers”, flats with rubber based soles, or boots.

  2. Get “Wise.” Formerly “Transferwise” now “Wise.” It’s the best way to get money from the ATM without an insane fee. Sadly, I did not have a “wise” account when we first moved here and suffered a $75 exchange fee from my bank when I made my first Euro withdrawal from a multibanco. I literally gasped in shock at the ATM. This didn’t happen to me at Deutsche bank in Spain when we traveled there because my bank had an affiliation with them. Portuguese banks have no deals with US banks. Most expats and international travelers use a “wise” account for all money transfers. I created my account in 15 minutes and the card arrived within a week here in Lisbon. Use this referral code to join if you’d like to set your account up: https://wise.com/invite/u/triciac42

3. Learn Some Basic Portuguese. Many expats will argue that you don’t need to know Portuguese when you get here but that’s a farce unless you are staying in only tourist areas (Baixa) or expat-centric neighborhoods (Chiado). If you want to truly experience the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon, Alfama, you should learn at least a little Portuguese or basic phrases for a more authentic experience. Load your phone with helpful apps like deepL, drops, and Memrise for truly European Portuguese. In a pinch, I confess that I will break out my Google Translate “conversation” mode even though Google translate is Brazilian Portuguese. Some frown upon using the Brazilian version but it helps in a pinch.

4. AirBnB & Hotel Bookings. I could write an entire post about this but make sure you ask a few questions before booking your lodging here in Lisbon or any part of Portugal, especially if you have mobility limitations. Is it wheelchair accessible? Do you have air conditioning and or heating? Can your taxi/uber drive you to the front door of the establishment?
For example, many people want to stay in Alfama because it’s the oldest and one of the most historically rich areas of Lisbon. Alfama’s beautiful, winding maze of cobble stoned streets are also the hardest to navigate unless you are extremely fit and don’t mind dragging your luggage up flights of cobble stoned stairs. Before you book, ask your hotel/airbnb if taxis and ubers have access to drop you off at the front door of their establishment. If you are a tall or bigger person, ask if the doorways, bathrooms, and ceiling height of their establishment can handle someone of your size, especially if you are planning to stay in an airbnb. Portuguese people are small and some doorways are tiny, I’m talking my height (which is 5’3″). The bathrooms are another matter; some showers were challenging for my 6’1″ husband and he’s on the thinner side.

5. December & January are wet and COLD. Before we moved here from Santa Monica, everyone told us that the weather in Lisbon was identical to southern California. That is a blatant lie. It’s wet and cold and many of the buildings don’t have adequate insulation to keep heat inside, even when you crank up the heaters. The buildings here were built to keep you cool in the hot summer months. Sometimes it’s actually warmer outside than it is inside! And it’s damp. Your bedding and most surfaces will be damp. Mold is a problem here, especially in AirBnB’s that are in the older parts of the city. Make sure your lodgings either provide a dehumidifier and adequate means of heat or wait until Spring to visit. Or visit Madeira. It’s always nice in Madeira.

If you have any questions or would like me to write more blogs on this topic, drop me a line. Thanks for reading and please subscribe!

We’re in Portugal

photo available on http://www.chattergoldstudios.com

I know, I know. It’s been a minute since I’ve last posted and boy, oh boy, has life changed! We have all been going through a pandemic for just over a year.

Aaaaaaannnnnd, the hubby and I somehow managed to move to Lisbon last October!

And it’s beautiful.

And it’s quiet.

And we love it.

Stay tuned for more photos and stories to come.


Fashion Friday: Art Face

If you have to wear a mask, it may as well be art, right? Pretty art full of swirls of color…
Like my paintings!

I got tired of wearing the same old medical mask and black cloth masks that I ordered from Amazon, so I made my own. And some people think they’re pretty cool. I hope you do, too. Just make sure to wear a medical mask underneath so you’re double protected. Better to be safe than sorry!

Check them out on Fine Art America along with many other merchandise options, select the artwork you would like and then select the mask option: https://fineartamerica.com/art/tricia+chatterton

The Holy Grail is in Valencia, Spain

Screen Shot 2019-10-27 at 4.35.30 PM



Happy Sunday!

I’m editing the photos from Valencia Cathedral, taken during my Spain trip, and thought I’d share a photo of what is said to be the Holy Grail. For those of you who don’t know what the Holy Grail is (or who have never watched “Indiana Jones”), the Holy Grail is said to be the cup that Jesus used during the last supper. This Cup is made of agate stone – a popular material for drink vessels in his time. It is cut out entirely from a large chunk of agate, 9 cm in diameter and completely plain. The decorations of gold and pearls were added to the supporting structure over the centuries. I have to say, it was quite a soul quieting experience to be in the chapel that holds it. You could hear a pin drop. Pretty awesome (literally the definition of awesome).

The Holy Grail is believed to had been left in the house where the Last Supper took place – a house belonging to the family of St Mark the Evangelist, who later took it to Rome when he went to serve as an interpreter for St Peter. Passed on within the church and used as Papal Chalice, the relic was shipped out of Rome in 3rd century by St Lawrence, in anticipation of a persecution. It was taken out of Rome in the hands of a Spanish soldier to Huesca, Spain. During the Muslim occupation of the Iberic peninsula, the Grail went into hiding and later re-emerged in various Spanish monasteries and cathedrals. The Kings of Spain looked after it, on occasions taking it into their treasuries or palaces, until it was finally presented to the Valencia Cathedral in XV century, where it remained ever since. It briefly left the Cathedral only twice, both times during the 1930s Civil War, for fears of plunder. #Sundayfeels #thegrail #Valencia

(info credit given to http://www.valenciavalencia.com/sig…/holy-grail-valencia.htm)

And yes, this photo is available for purchase in any size. Click to order.,

Donate & Decorate! Proceeds Go to Hurricane Dorian Relief

50% of profit from the images on my website (www.chattergoldstudios.com) will go to Hurricane Dorian relief (Red Cross) today through September. Please share, buy, etc… You will find a variety of images from photography to prints of my latest abstract paintings. Just use the search bar in the upper right side of my website.

These images are a little flashback to Hurricane Sandy’s waves climbing the beach at Deerfield Beach’s Trespass area (local Deerfield Beach, Florida folk know where that is).

The storm surges and waves were a reminder of mother nature’s strength…and extreme beauty.
Click on images below for prints, canvas, fine art prints and a variety of wall art and mediums.Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 11.22.01 AMHurricane Sandy

Donate & Decorate This “Giving Tuesday”

From now through the end of January, I will be donating 50% of all profits from my Etsy Shop to St. Judes and Shriners Hospitals for children. Great excuse to both donate and decorate. Please check out my shop regularly for new pieces and share with your friends.

Click image to check each piece out and order…



Sunday Monday Funday Travel Photography

Could your home use an art update for 2018?

Today and tomorrow ONLY, I’m offering 40% off of all prints, metal prints, canvas and photo products in my photography on  www.chattergoldstudios.com

when you use the code: SundayMondayFunday at checkout

on images like… angels and saints in the Cathedral of Barcelona… (click on images to order)




and Madrid…



and Venice, Italy


Visit Chattergold Studios for more wonderful places and feel free to use the search bar in the upper right corner to find any subject matter you fancy.

Thank you for visiting.

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