Having noticed lately a big increase oj interest for paintings of Portugal, especially for the town Peniche, I decided to dedicate this post to that great town by the Atlantic coast, where we spent some days some years ago, wandering around, cycling, sketching…
Peniche! I love that town name, probably because in French it means “narrow-boat” and I associate to narrow boats a very romantic style of life.. a wonderful name for a seaside town.
I am quite lazy with writing today, and anyway it is more than 4 years ago, so I will quote Kev Moore, my English rocker partner who of course was with me on that trip, and wrote a travel diary:
“…Shoehorned into a small peninsula, Peniche gives the impression of being surrounded by water, which in fact it very nearly is. The coastline here is spectacular, crumbling layers of porous rock, section by section relinquishing itself to the ceaselessly pounding waves. It makes for some incredibly fascinating natural structures, not to mention a big kids playground for yours truly.We parked, ostensibly for the night on a stretch of land that was connected to a crumbling chain of three islands by wooden footbridges, and enjoyed a spectacular sunset as we ate our evening meal…”
“… The old town of Peniche nestles safely within old City walls, and boasts, as nearly every settlement along this coast does, a fort…. “
“…The next day, having already seen the great road that wound its way around the peninsula, we decided to take the bikes out and explore. We must have got about halfway round before whistle-blowing policemen started herding us in contrary directions. It seems that the National Portuguese Triathlon Association was running its competition. There followed scenes of pure farce, as top cyclists whizzed by Miki and I, as we tried and tried to find a route through the town that avoided us entering the race. It was very tempting to freewheel across the finish line, arms aloft and claim victory!
We were forced to remain within the confines of the town, purely because of the amount of spectators, and we enjoyed it. The harbour was full of swimmers, in apparent confusion, but obviously in the race, looling for all the world like a shoal of floundering fish. Then they were off, running the same streets they’d pedallled minutes before. I was exhausted just looking at them…”
“… This entire weekend was the “Sabores do Mar”- Flavours of the Sea Festival which not only celebrated with the Triathlon, but had a three day Pop festival too. The headline band seemed to be called Blasted Mechanism, an English, albeit daft, name for a Portuguese band. That night as we wandered the streets of Peniche soaking up the atmosphere, I heard them soundchecking… I thought of my daughter at the Download festival in the UK that weekend watching Kiss… I loved that Peniche threw itself into this thing. Old ladies in doorways shouting cheekily to the Triathletes- it seemed the whole town got a real shot in the arm from this thing, and that’s how it should be…”
“… Peniche warranted another two-nighter, and we spent the last morning exploring inside the old fort. Another jewel on the Portuguese coast, this country has an embarrassment of riches…”
All paintings are travel sketches done on the site in watercolour and ink.
So, I hope you enjoyed this little trip to Peniche! If you are interested in seeing all my sketches from my Portugal trips, please click here.
And if you want to buy some prints of these paintings, they are available on paper and canvas in many different size. Also as Greeting cards. directly online in my FAA gallery. Just click on the widgets below