Sunday, January 8, 2017

so where were we?

I left you in Rome back in September, and I'm not sure where to go from there since there have been several other adventures since. I never did finish posting about the Eternal City, but I think I'll save it for another time. Though we've got the Sahara, the High Atlas, and a little oasis near the Algerian border to cover, I thought I'd start with what I did for New Year's and travel backwards. Oh! There was also a trip to Paris full of art and food— but before I get lost, let's go brave the chill of Marvão.

Wanting to quietly ring in 2017 by a fireplace in the middle of nowhere, we found a cute bed and breakfast in the town of Beirã that once operated as part of an old train station by the Portuguese-Spanish border. New Year's Day was white with fog, and since breakfast would not be served until ten, we decided to pile on the layers and take a little walk. Pedro counted his first birds of 2017, and I photographed what remained of the once bustling Marvão-Beirã train stop. The air was crisp, and sent a chill right through to the bone— were it not for the little heating unit in our room and the cackling fireplace in the common seating area, I would still be thawing out!

It must have been a sight to step off the train, luggage in hand, and see Portugal's major architectural attractions tantalizingly depicted in blue and white azulejo. These are some of the finest panels I have seen, with a beautiful sense of light and depth captured. The artist was none other than Jorge Colaço, who also painted the stunning tiles on the Estação de São Bento in Porto and the Pavilhão Carlos Lopes in Lisbon. I'm becoming quite a fan of this guy...

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