18 december Lavra (PORTUGAL)

After a fast transfer in Bruxelles, we continue to Oporto.

I will meet Pedro again, here. I'm going to spend one month with him.

At 13.30 we get to his hospitable house in this little town on the Atlantic Ocean.

It's lunch time and his sister: Veronica, prepares us a delicious dish of roast sardines (this fish, with the dried cod, is one of the most typical product of the zone).

 

"Life is a journey, travelling is living twice."
- Omar Khayyam - (Persian poet of XII century).

 

20 december Braga (PORTUGAL)

Today we visit Eduarda's town: Braga.

The main square reminds us of Warsaw's one for her coloured buildings in the center.

Braga, after all, is a quite city, tidy, clean, well organized; we have a nice walk around the "Praça da Repùblica" and after that we climb to the highest part of the city till "Bom Jesus Castle" where we can admire the view of Braga by night.

21 december Oporto (PORTUGAL)

We have lunch in the city center and we eat the famous "Francesinha", typical Oporto's speciality.

It's a kind of bread, similar to an English pudding, full of several different meat's layers, cheese, ham, eggs, everything on a delicious sauce... But too much for a single person!

After that we go to Jorge's. He has a huge dog, as a mastiff, an Argentinean race. Jorge has a small recording room, we spend several hours playing and singing there. He also creates a rap bit for me and I start rapping on it!

Before saying good bye he tells me: "Don't worry, in the place where you are going (Fundão) you will have a lot of inspiration...!" After this mysterious sentence we go back home. What did Jorge mean?

We will discover it soon...

We find many people at home writing for us for the dinner. There are many Veronica's friends: Kiko, Caterina, Sandra, Barbara etc.

At midnight they ask me to play something with the guitar and: let's party with Italian most important hits....

 

 

24 december Fundão (PORTUGAL)

Christmas evening.

We celebrate it at Pedro's grandparents in Fundão, about 400 km from Lavra.

The transfer is not very good, a bit for the distance, a bit for the very bad weather conditions, a bit for the very dangerous road. In fact, you can often see along the road, ambulances or firemen ready to operate. You can often meet traffic signs with the numbers of the casualties of thet week, daily accidents, casualties per year and so on.

Ofelia (Pedro's mum) is very nice, she's always in a good mood and then she's so sweet!

Four hours trip later, at last, we arrive to Fundão. We meet his grandparents, two nice people; his grandmother is on a wheeling chair now and his grandfather has to take care of the house, he cleans, cooks and looks after her. What a nice couple!

We spend the evening in Covilhã with Pedro's cousin and his girlfriend. The city is cold and desert...

 

25 december Serra da Estrela (PORTUGAL)

We decide to go on the Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain in Portugal.

Almost the whole ascent is full of fog and you can't see anything around you then, suddenly, it clears and a wonderful show appears in front of our eyes!

Meters and meters of snow everywhere, we don't have the proper clothes but we enjoy very much.

We roll on the snow, we push and fall everywhere....

We start eating the Christmas dinner with the dried cod (cooked in many ways), vegetables, octopus, potatoes etc.

The funny thing is that all the time they brought a new dish, all the people, started looking at every single movement of my mouth, to understand if I liked that or not!

26 december Fundão (PORTUGAL)

We have just watched "Life is beautiful" by Roberto Benigni.

In Italian with subtitles in Portuguese.

Watching it I felt also more proud to be Italian.

Great Benigni! Tomorrow, at last we go back home!

To Lavra.

27 december Lavra (PORTUGAL)

As in Italy: "Big Brother" has been a great TV success here too.

Maybe even more than in Italy. All the TV channels talk only about this. About the lives of the characters, already: stars. All the Portuguese follow this reality everyday, they everything of Ze Maria, Susana, Telmo etc.

28 december Gaia (PORTUGAL)

Today we visit Gaia, a city on the opposite side of the Douro River, in front of the romantic and famous Oporto's Riberinha.

We can admire the old and characteristic harbour zone from here.

We also pass along the bridge built by Gustav Eiffel.

 

I meet Teresa and her husband: Hugo, at dinner.

This guy is a very fanatical fan of the Oporto and a great connoisseur of all European football. He also knows more than me about Italian football.

He promises me to bring me to a Oporto match if his favourite team will play in the city in the next days.

29 december Oporto (PORTUGAL)

I meet Bruno Melo again, a guy known in Prague last year.

This is another cool thing of the journeys, meeting again, after long time and in far places of this world, always smaller and smaller!

In the afternoon we go to Lavra's beach to take some photos at the stormy Ocean.

In the evening we go to Maia, at Pedro's university.

It reminds me of some my college in Southampton, England.

It's very modern, well organized as for the logistic and far from the monumental building of my university!

We have some other guests for dinner: Lela and her parents. Her father is half Indian and half from Mozambique, a very interesting person, we talk about immigration, emigration and of the phenomenon that the best Indian informatics engineers are "sucked back" by United States.

Later on I discover that he had been Minister of the Economy in Mozambique.

Cool! Dinner with the minister!

 

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