Nestled in the terraced valley of the Serra do Açor, lies a storybook village of schist and lines of blue. Piódão is a stark contrast to the other Portuguese villages I came across, which were generally a collection of white-walled boxy houses trimmed in yellow or cobalt.
The quiet had a thickness to it, occasionally broken by a voice— human, bird or goat. I was taken by the careful layers schist and slate, the reverence of cobalt, the little hand-made crosses of twigs nailed above doorways. Climbing the narrow passageways between the ancient houses, I felt that familiar longing in my stomach.
We were beckoned to a little restaurant by an emphatic and convincing man, where we became the sole diners. It was decided that I must try the chanfana, a hearty and hygge (I must use the Danish here, as there really isn't an English word to describe the feeling of this dish) clay-pot stew of goat meat and potatoes, a hint of mint, generous in olive oil. This stew was made for bread-dipping, and my goodness, the goat... It just melted.
And the best way to end such perfection? A coffee, some rice pudding, and a few good laughs.