Supporters of the ousted regime—and there are a few, including our local butcher who was but a child when the revolution happened—probably took grim solace in that, as we stood listening to aging idealists making speeches and singing songs of celebration, the skies were grey and foreboding and soon let loose their rains.
Despite my optimism, I left as the rain grew heavier and spent the evening reading about the first kings of Portugal—an interesting bunch of characters that I will return to in a later post.Toward the very edge of the world
Despite their tendency towards lugubriousness, I am finding the Portuguese to be a warm friendly people. Friends that I only knew through social media, Vanda & Miguel and their delightful son, Afonso, took us on a wonderful tour of the Sintra area where the nobility liked to spend their summers since Moorish times—and probably before.It’s the type of place that appeals to the senses, warm and fertile, and the gentle rains and mists would make any Celt feel at home. It is not unlike the west coast of Ireland only with fewer seasons per day.
The hillsides are dotted with spectacular mansions that date back centuries, growing more spectacular as they rise up the sides of the mountain to where an old castle dominates.
Beyond that, we also visited Cabo da Roca which is the most westerly point on the European mainland. The 16th-century Portuguese poet Luís de Camões described Cabo da Roca as “Onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa” --"where the land ends and the sea begins."
Like most things that happen here, there was a very simple explanation but rather than tell you, I will invite suggestions. The first correct suggestion (email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “hole in the street” as the subject matter) will win a signed copy of one of my titles.
I might even consider offering one for the most humorous, too.Until the next time,