Sometimes you need a good excuse to be a tourist in your own country. Magdalena‘s visit provided the perfect pretext to spend a week enjoying some of the most beautiful spots in and out of Lisbon. Finally came the moment to visit Palácio da Pena, the colourful-straight-out-of-Willy-Wonka royal house sitting on top of a lusciously green hill.
Note to self: next time stick to the palace’s exterior and choose only to visit its gardens, as the crowds are more sparse and you don’t need to queue all day to visit its not so remarkable interior.
Praia da Ursa, a stone’s throw from the westernmost point of continental Europe left me in utter awe. Its uneasy access and lack of infrastructures make it the perfect spot away from the hordes. It takes roughly 20 minutes to walk down and along the way
There was also time for some south-of-Lisbon adventure: Praia do Pinheirinho and Cais Palafítico da Carrasqueira. For the latter, make sure to get there before the sunset, you’ll definitely thank me later.
Danke! Viskas bus gerai!
Photography credits to Magdalena.
Ahead of Christmas I came home to find this in the mailbox.
Written in German and addressed to me and my sister:
Liebe Catherina, Lieber Viktor, viele liebe Grüße aus sendet Euch Wilfried + Maia aus Ungarn. Danke für Euren Kartengruß gut zu wissen, dass ihr gut wieder in Portugal angekommen seid. Zu den Feiertagen alles Gute und ein gesundes Neue-Jahr 2018.
Mr. Wilfriend wrote us!
Before writing anything else, I have to thank T. for introducing and taking me to this play yesterday evening. If it wasn’t for him, this would have slipped under my radar.
Introductions aside, let’s get down to it!
Avenue Q (locally translated to, you guesses it, Avenida Q) is a musical first presented on Broadway in 2003 and given its popularity, it has ever since been produced in various countries worldwide. Portugal was no exception, having Avenida Q first performed earlier this year. The Lusitanian season has been renewed due to the public continuous interest in it.
So, what is Avenue Q?
Imagine Sesame Street and “The Real World” having a baby. It would be Avenue Q. The show mixes human characters and puppet characters interacting with one another. The actors who give life to the puppets are not concealed, instead they have an on-stage presence alongside the other characters.
The story evolves around Luís, a recently who moves to Avenue Q because he can’t afford to live anywhere else. In that place he ends up finding others who struggle with life in one way or another. We can easily very easily relate with the characters or with bits and pieces from each one of them. The difficulty of growing up is smartly conveyed throughout the show. And also the importance of celebrating our failures. We are humans, after all.
The Ursinhos das Ideas de Merda (loosely translated to Little bears of shitty ideas) were my little guilty pleasure. Who wouldn’t love to have two cute, strident teddy bears by your side ready to instigate you into bringing out your worst. No rules, no boundaries, no limits. And then there is Paula Porca. A sex-bomb that cannot be overlooked.
I can honestly say that despite not being a fan of the whole “musical” concept (I mean, on what purpose do performers start singing so perfectly synchronised with great choreography?), Avenue Q was created with the finest ingredients: snarky sarcasm, humour and enough irony mixed with catchy songs. Enough to head home with a smile on my face.
It’s been one month since our family grew bigger.
Ever since I can remember, my mother (who is the one that dictates things at the house!) had always been reluctant about having a pet. We live in an apartment, so there’s not much space for an hypothetical animal to live within walls. Bodas came to our family quite unexpectedly. My mom began giving hints that she would like to have a cat and soon the five of us became very excited about the idea!
We came across a pet shop in the neighbourhood with a few kittens up for adoption. A cute little that we found there melted our hearts.
My father soon came home with a few bags of cat food. The layette was ready for our “newborn”.
A few days later, my mother went back to the shop to finally adopt the kitten. The employee informed her that the adoption came with a few requirements, meaning that she had to spend €30+ on food and other (un)necessary goods for the cat. A questionable practice, no doubt!
So we waited patiently.
On the 5th of October, in Oeiras, the municipality where we live at (2780 zip code!), a pet fair was held at the local park. Cats and kittens could be found there, ready to get a new home.
This cute little yellow one caught our attention. He had to be the one.
As strange as it might sound, the name Bodas pays tribute to my parents 25th wedding anniversary. Traditionally, when a couple hits the 25th mark, the celebration is called a “silver wedding anniversary”, which loosely translates to Portuguese as: “bodas de Prata”. Hence the “Bodas”, which sounds cutesy enough be his name.