Friday 27th June 2008
Chaves – Vinhais – Braganca
„… A woman, a high ranking officer in the army, is sitting at her computer in a medieval tower in the middle of an ocean. No island, just the tower. She is looking at a DVD which she just received, It shows her husband and her four little children in the kitchen baking a cake for her. All have much fun and laugh a lot. The officer starts crying.
I have been called to go to war and to join her in the tower. Before I go I am submitted to many medical tests and visits. A chirurgeon finds out that all my inner organs have a perfectly square shape. I am trying to explain to him that it is because I have been all my life a mathematician with heart and soul and body, but he does not believe me and calls many scientists. They all examine me and conclude that I am an extra terrestrial…”
So, it is 21.15pm, we are luxuriously parked in the Camping of Braganca, in the North West of Portugal, about 20 kilometers away from Spain. Nothing here reminds me of Spain though, it is really like being in another continent.
A lovely, very cheap camping, it even has its own river like most of the towns and villages here. I really wonder where all these rivers are coming from and above all I am fascinated that they all have water inside! When you have been living in the South of Spain for a long time, you forget what a real river is. Where we live, the rivers are dry, even in the winter, and even the river called „Rio Aguas” (Waters river) near to Turre where we live now has no waters at all!
Kevin is trying to cook our dinner, but for about a week, since some water boiled over and fell into one of the cooker burners, this is going mad and making big flames now, everyday bigger, and it dangerously smells like gas inside the motorhome then… so tonight Kevin is preparing Indian Chicken only on one gas, a master act of ingenuity! But to tell the truth, he is above all scared by our English neighbours here, in the camping, who just told him horror stories about people being gassed and robbed in their motorhomes, near to Paris. I know all these stories, they are very frequent in France. How often it really happens I don´t know but they belong to the traditional repertoire of each motorhome owner. I kind of hate these stories, I mean, of course it happens, but all kind of horrors happen in the world and this is not a reason to stay home, scared that such things could happens to us. At least, after my parents telling me some of these horror stories which they had heard from a guy who makes some handiwork for them, we had decided last year to provide the motorhome with chains which we install every night… Damned chains! Hard to install and then I feel like I’ m in a jail cell! As then everybody tried to convince me to install a gas alarm and buy a gun I said:
And I won´t change my mind anymore… I simply don´t want to live in continuous fear!
Anyway we had a great drive from Chaves to Braganca today. The road was good, the landscape around was nice. Kevin moaned a little bit about the many curves, he counted something like 15 curves in one kilometer, but I find that he should use his wonderful brain to do more useful things than to count the curves, when we are in holiday in such a wonderful country! Easy for me to say, I know, when I am not the one driving….
We had a lunch stop in a little town called „Vinhais”, about 30 km from here. I made some sketches of the houses there, it was quite appealing to me, above all the contrast between a white sanctuary and the old stones of the small town wall. Then I had a walk alone through the town, an amazing piece of crazy architecture and had my fun taking some photos of old doors for Kevin´s series of Portugal doors.
Really there is a lot of things in Portugal from which I would love to make a series, in photos or paintings. The doors, yes. Then the town entrance sculptures, one more amazing than the other! Only today, and although we did not cross many towns we saw 2 extreme ones… perhaps I should dedicate the rest of my artistic life to Portugal?