Portugal in the Box – #30

Saturday 28th June 2008

Braganca – Miranda do Douro

„… Walking, I arrive in front of an immense wood. The trunks of the trees are in all the colours of the rainbow and the leaves are all bright yellow. After entering the wood I notice that the trees are not only trees, but the leaves are in fact thick carpets and the trunks are stilts. Very high above the ground and the yellow carpets the wood is in fact a village, full of small wooden houses on coloured stilts. I stay there a while, admiring this scenery.Behind one window I see a strange scary creature moving, I don´t know if it is a dwarf or an animal. I escape running, for hours and hours.. As I finally reach the end of the wood, I see in the far distance an immense city, totally white, with enormous white monuments. I think the city is made out of glass. I want to go there and find a signpost at the entrance of a tunnel. I go into the tunnel, but the tunnel is leading directly deep under the earth. At some point, after having gone down for a long time, I finally arrive at a complex of corridors and shelters which I recognise as being an airport. I understand that this is the airport of the glass city, and the corridors are the airways and the planes are flying under the earth. Suddenly somebody grabs my arm. It is an old acquaintance. He says that if I want to fly to the city, he could help me with my suitcases and the formalities. We go to his house, I get a suitcase with personal effects, and he gives me another suitcase. I have a strange feeling that he wants to smuggle things and I am escaping again. But the guy follows me all the time and puts his suitcase back in my hand. Finally I succeed in getting rid of him but I miss my plane and have to take a train to the glass city…
Once in the glass city I participate in a ceremony with many people. We all have to gather special stones from the ground of a very big, white river. Then we follow the river in a procession, marching towards an altar. But a big black guy is starting to follow me trying to steal my stones and we have a lot of fights. In the end I have fallen far behind the procession but at least I have got rid of the black giant, telling him that my stones were poisoned. Later on I see him by the river, trying to get his own stones out of the river…“

Another luxurious night with light and water a gogo, in fact 3 nights and days as we have booked 3 days on a small campsite here, in Miranda do Duero. We are 3 kilometers away from the Spanish border, and as far as I understand it, Miranda is an old interesting town, with a lot of stuff to look at. The campsite is not so far away from the town, so we will be able to explore it and its neighbourhood on the bikes, which is by far the best way to discover these kind of places.
This morning we had a long chat with our amiable English neighbours and exchanged some info about the interesting places to see. They had come to Spain from England on the ferry to Santander, than touring the North Atlantic coast of Spain and had entered Portugal just 2 days ago. Like us at the beginning they had not noticed the time difference between Spain and Portugal and had wondered for 2 days why the buses did not arrive at the planned time…
We then left the camping before midday and drove to the town. We spent some hours in the ineresting citadel and in the town, I made some sketches, we had some coffee, in the end all together we had a great time, although it was awfully hot and I was not quite happy with my sketches. Poor Kevin, he always asks me:
„Have you done good stuff?“
and I quite invariably pull a lip and answer:
„Not really…“
There are always 100 reasons why I am not happy with my sketching. Or it is too hot, or I don´t find a place to sit comfortably, or the motive is very difficult, or I get paralysed through the many impressions, or I have a headache… But well, at the end, when I then put some colour on them, they look quite ok, and above all Kevin is happy that I really do good stuff!

We drove about 80 kilometers to Miranda, with a short stop in Viomoso where we had lunch. A lovely drive altogether, nice roads, nice landscapes, great blue sky, yes, life was perfect!
We arrived relatively early at the campsite, which gave me the possibility to work in peace on the ink sketches from the morning. For the first time since we have had the motorhome we have put the awning out, Kevin was sitting outside and reading while I was painting. The camping is almost empty, only 2 more motorhomes, one German, one English. While I was painting I could hear the older English lady reading her travel diary to her husband and I thought:
„What a lovely way to spend the old days together!“
They obviously enjoyed their trips in the motorhome, and I kind of felt happy for them. I have a special attachment to old people, and I can´t stand it when they are put away from life…
I hope we will still be able to travel around when we are older!

But for now, we will have our dinner outside, for the first time too, alfresco.
„Pappardelle in sugo alla Calabrese!
Mima miam! And by candle light of course… romanticism must be!

5 Responses to “Portugal in the Box – #30”

  1. versionscelestes Says:

    I love your dreams, Miki. What strange and marvelous they are!

  2. Miki Says:

    Thanks, versionscelestes. I kind of love my dreams too, but believe me, they are quite exhausting and sometimes I got more sleep than dreams… I have stopped again to write them down, because when I do it, they become more real, too scary for the real every day life somehow… and of course it works like a catalysator, the most I remember these dreams, the more I got some news, and at the end I never rest… I had a weird one tonight again, powerful, but scary and exhausting… I might write it down…

  3. versionscelestes Says:

    That would be a good idea. On the other hand, I understand you might find them sometimes scary…

    About your dream: It reminds me one I had a few years ago. In my dream, I was in the woods and I had to get to an ancient building, a white circular monument. I remember watching the sky at night from the top of this building…

  4. Susan Cornelis Says:

    I love the accurate description of what the sketching artist feels – and how others perceive it. We all need a Kev to appreicate and encourage us (not to mention cook such feasts!)

  5. Miki Says:

    Yes, Susan, Kevin is a wonderful supporter and appreciator of my art! The most wonderful being that he many times spend hours outside, sitting somewhere and reading, just to give me the opportunity to sketch and to be together. He would do anything to make me painting possible, and I find that incredibly generous, considering that he is an artist himself and has a lot of own interests… And yes again, after all that, he is the one who invariably feeds me, every evening, with a lovely dinner…


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