Portugal and the weather.

View of Porto from Vila Nova de Gaia.

Winter has arrived in Portugal. We have been lucky to have had mostly sunny days through November. But now it is cold and rainy here in Porto, as is expected this time of year.
The pleasant weather is one of the things that attracted us to Portugal.
And we chose to live in Porto to avoid the heat of summer that can be extreme in the southern parts of the country. Mission accomplished there. The summers have been beautiful, and in the 70s for the most part.
Fall is fabulous, with warm days and cool nights through the end of October. Spring can be very hit or miss, some cold rainy days interspersed with sunny days.

Last year, we suffered through the coldest winter in 30 years here.
And our electricity bill showed it. 300-350 euros for the coldest winter months. Yikes! We are used to paying 35-50 per month.

When we first visited Portugal, I noticed the lack of heating in most buildings. I thought, wow, the weather must be so mild that heating isn’t necessary. Silly human! Au contraire, mon frère.
Here is what I have learned after living here for almost three years. The Portuguese are incredibly stoic when it comes to suffering through cold weather. Yup, it is winter, and it is cold. Suck it up! That is the attitude. I don’t know if it is a holdover from the Salazar dictatorship or what, but doing without heat does not seem to bother most of them.

As wussy Americans, we are not keen on freezing our keesters off for months at a time. So, this year we got a more energy-efficient space heater and ordered some heavy draperies in hopes of warding off the worst of the winter cold.
If that does not help, we may have to install heating. We are crossing our fingers that window coverings will be the answer.
In the meantime, we will be drinking lots of spiced wine and doing plenty of cooking and baking to keep things warmed up.

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