Inspired by Susan‘s comment to my post below, I offer this photograph I took of a Portugal beach.
Now, there are beaches in the south of the country. Then there are beaches on the Costa Verde, which I have been to (the one above is just north of Viana do Castelo). The south of the country I’ve always assumed is terribly touristy. Lots of people go there from all over Europe to soak up the sun. English is widely spoken. This is not an idea of the kind of place the sqvirrel and I like to go. So we haven’t been. However, the beaches in the north, like the ones on the Costa Verde, while popular with Portuguese, are unspoiled by high rise resort hotels. The one I went to had patches of rocky, intertidal zones interspersed with streches of pale, fine sand, all backed by stable sand dunes. Since this offers me the chance to go tide-pooling (I saw a couple species of anenomes, some sea stars, a wide variety of brown and red algae, periwinkle-type snails, lots and lots of barnacles, and some teeny tiny fish) and looking for cool sand-dune specific plants, I really liked it.