these are the posts tagged ‘celorico de basto’:


analogue wednesday #28

castle

castle_arnoia

celorico de basto has its own castle on top of a hill, with a defense tower. you climb to it through a very dangerous-looking vertical stairs… but the view is lovely!

no choice is good choice

it’s been a few months that we’re back in berlin after our spring stint in celorico de basto, a place hidden in the middle of vinho verde land.

everyone thought that we, the globetrotters, were going to hate being holed up in there for two months.

minho

well, the truth is… it was oddly refreshing. i wasn’t expecting it to be so soothing, and i think a big part of that stemmed from not having much to chose from. there was one of everything: one restaurant, one supermarket, three bakeries (this is portugal after all) — and that was enough. it was just pure simplicity, those unadorned, undemanding days where we did the only things we could do.

plus, our internet allowance was limited and thus kept strictly practical: no videos streaming, no music playing in the background, no images cluttering the pages. we did our job and then switched it off and went outside. the inbox got close to zero a few times. my skin regained a bit of its southern shade.

(i had the same feeling once, on a tiny apartment we stayed in where everything was white, clean and uncluttered from the usual paraphernalia that seems to sprout on every surface. no superfluous decorations, nothing in sight… everything was there, but hidden in its right place. i, the queen of messy desks, felt relieved, serene, in peace.)

levada

of course we missed lots of things: friends. the convenience of online retailers, combined with the efficiency of deutsche post. our bed. reliable film shops. the café around the corner. diversity. proper internet. a quiet place to call our own…

but it was strangely refreshing to be away and really focused on a task. no main distractions going on. everything was secondary to the main goal and so every decision became easy, barely a yes or no process.

i don’t know if this makes sense for anyone else… i just wanted to remember this feeling.

analogue wednesday #23

watertank2

watertank

watertank3

our favorite summer activity: dipping our extremities into the ice-cold water of my parent’s water tank. bliss!

the bucolic experiment

one month ago, we temporarily relocated to the middle of nowhere in order to help my cousin daniela get through the national exams (and, fingers crossed, into college). so it’s been a month of synecdoches, trigonometry and mitochondria… but it’s also been a month where we’ve eaten loquats straight from the trees, dipped our feet on the ice-cold water of the water tank, saw my grandpa celebrate his 90th birthday, watered my mom’s vegetable patch and watched the bees buzz around in the afternoon sun…

carrots

everything here is simpler, cheaper, sunnier. it all feels foreign and yet, so familiar, so natural. i miss my friends and i miss the big city, but i feel almost… content here. it’s nice, this countryside life.

june family gathering

once a year, around my grandpa’s birthday, the family gets together to celebrate. my mom has 7 brothers and sisters, all married and with kids, and some of my cousins now have kids as well… more people than we can sit at a table :)
the table

it was the first time in 3 years that i was actually around to attend the party, so there were 3 new additions to the family that i had yet to meet, the smallest of which was just 1 week old :)
the oldest and the youngest
rodrigo
inês being scary

in typical portuguese fashion, there’s enough food to feast a full orchestra and plenty of house wine. the party drags itself into the night when we end up singing happy birthday to a sleepy grandpa :)

happy birthday grandpa!

it’s a recent tradition, put in place by my mother, who by the way is the most unstoppable creature on earth. she has been holding on 2 jobs ever since she graduated, and all this while raising 2 kids and doing a second masters. she’s just been assigned to coordinate the nurses in the infectious & contagious diseases ward of the hospital (smack in the middle of the h1n1 crisis, no less). i cannot tell in words how immensely proud i am of this little stubborn creature and all she has accomplished :)