Wednesday, 1 February 2012

American Suburbanite in Portugal: a souvenir for my sister

With our last full day in Portugal upon us, it was time to do some housekeeping. It was not as if we had big parties or anything, but when we weren't at the beach we were picking up firewood. We had lots of sand bark in the car, and well, lots of sand and bark everywhere! After we finished tidying up, I built one last fire in the wood burner (bliss in one match for us or the next guest) and even netted the leaves from the pool since the sun was out again.

When all was said and done we headed out to do a little shopping. I had a very distinct idea of what I wanted to buy, my sister has a couple of wall plaques from Portugal. They were in the first house she bought and she has brought them with her to her new house with her husband. I asked her to send me a picture, but it didn't come through before I used all the 3G on the sim card, so I was going by memory. I remembered one was a church and one a smaller building. I had checked a couple of shops in Obidos the day before, but nothing seemed quite right, so we headed to São Martinho do Porto. The only shop we noticed was closed until 2pm so, after taking a few pictures of the extremely low tide and crazy waves at the mouth of the bay, we headed back to Obidos.

If 3 visits isn't indication enough, I absolutely love Obidos. Even though not on the water and we visited out of season, I think I could say it is my favorite town/village on the Costa da Prata. We walked a slightly different path this time viewing the inside of a gate we saw whilst walking the walls on our first visit. The gates are so impressive, they are well worth stopping in as opposed to just walking through.

Ceramics/ pottery is one of the primary handicrafts of Portugal. Not surprising when you think of the amount of natural clay within the Portuguese soil. We found numerous shops with blue and white painted plates and tea sets, but we were looking for a slightly more rustic approach to the craft. We found several churches and a number of doors, but many were overly decorated with flowers or had Obidos written on them. They just appeared a little too touristy.

We finally found the right style and purchased a clock tower. They also had a church, but thought that might be too similar to what my sister already has.

After a bit more shopping, we went home, out for a meal. I carefully packed the clock tower into our hand luggage.

It safely made it back to England and when we got to a point where I could check my messages...I discovered her church is the clock tower with a cross. Oh well, we only got ourselves a cork postcard (I'll go into cork another time), so I guess we have our own souvenir.

As for my sister, she also has a painting of the Alto Vista Chapel ( that she acquired during some of her travels. She thought a companion canvas would look nice. Her initial idea was to print a photo on canvas based on a picture I posted on instagram. I have decided I might give a go at painting a church in acrylic on canvas myself. Wish me luck!

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