We arrived in Lisbon from San Diego via Atlanta and Paris: we very nearly missed our departing flight in SAN because of computer problems at the check in desk. We were the very last people on the plane, and my guess is that they might not have waited if Axel hadn’t flown about a billion miles with them already. As it was, there was not a space to be had in the overheads for either my rolling camera bag nor Axel’s carry on, and the phrase, “check it through to your destination,” was not a player in my book. We were apologetic, we uttered mea culpas. We have never, ever been the last one on board. Truly. We are usually the first. A place was found. We were seated. ATL to CDG was full to the rafters with the beginning of summer travel. We took drugs. We slept. We connected in Paris to the Lisbon flight, connected to the northbound train. Missed the rail connection in Campanha, finally arrived in Braga, and were picked up by someone who drove like Mario Andretti, even though he only had one arm, which he used to both steer and make phone calls, while overtaking at incredible speed.
Welcome to Portugal!
The show grounds is within walking distance of the town of Ponte de Lima, and the Wednesday of the show, the town was closed for the Festa do Corpo de Deus. The pavement of the narrow streets were decorated by “tapetes floridos”, carpets of bright colored patterns made with flowers and dyed shavings: sunbursts and crosses and geometrics, celebrating Jesus, the Pope and various saints. There were flowers everywhere, and people milled about in the warm sunshine. It was close to 90, and it turned out to be the coolest day of the week. We retired to the cool shade of an outdoor cafe for a salad and some vinho verde (“green wine”) a young white sparkling wine that is only grown in the Minho region of norther Portugal.