31 August 2013
My home for the next two days in a traditional Portuguese home in Carreiras. Everything is handcrafted and absolutely gorgeous. The doors are even decorated with small details that just make it absolutely unfathomable that I am in such a place where everything is so old and so perfect…
This weekend the Maroco family invited Kailey and I to go to their vacation home in Carreiras with them. They had already invited two other families, but had an extra room for us if we wanted to join. Carreiras is known throughout Portugal as having the best food in all of the country. How could we say no to that! I was not prepared at all for how incredible the entire weekend was going to be.
First off, the house was absolutely gorgeous. It was a traditional Portuguese house, 350 years old belonging to Luis’ great, great, great, great, etc… grandfather (avo). The traditional houses are white with red roofs, and have green or red doors with trimming around it that is either yellow or blue respectively. This house still had old ceramics, instruments, stoves, and furniture from centuries ago that now adorn its walls. The houses are built on a series of hills surrounded by many vineyards, orchards, and olive trees. Just in the backyard of this house alone there were apple trees, olive trees, fig trees, plum trees, and prickly pear cacti. I can walk out the front door and eat my breakfast on the way to the pool (piscina). It is really quite incredible.
We spent the day sitting at the pool, visiting a beautiful castle containing a villa (village) inside it, and of course–eating lots and lots of Portuguese food. Luis took Kailey and I on a beautiful run this morning through the old cobble and dirt streets leading to the countryside of the villa, past several vineyards and olive groves, alongside to an old Roman road, and up a hill overlooking the villa where we were staying. Everything was so magical and surreal. I cannot believe that a place like this still exists in a world that is becoming so globalized. It is such an eye opener to me to be surrounded by people who speak no English, and whom have customs and traditions that are so different from what I am used to back home. The world is small, but it is still very large at the same time. It is strange to think about the language barrier between Portuguese and English and realize that their are millions of other people out their who speak a completely different language than I. It makes me what to learn as many of them as I can so that I can really understand those people. I love people. Let me shout it to the world…I LOVE PEOPLE and I LOVE PORTUGAL.
After returning from our castle visit and a delicious meal of Peixe (fish) in a nearby town–I had my first experience with a real churrasco (Portuguese BBQ). I will never settle for a churrascaria in the states again; actually after being in Portugal I do not know if I can settle for any food in the states again. Father, you HAVE to come to Portugal and experience a REAL churrasco. I haven’t been to a churrascaria restaurant yet because most of them are in Brazil, but I have been to amazing fish restaurants and experienced a home-cooked churrasco. If it gets better than that I am in for a huge surprise. I cannot wait to see what the next four months has in store!
Castelo de Vide was our evening out. After finishing Jantar (dinner) at about 11pm, the night was just getting started, so all the families and their children jumped in the cars to go to the Midevil festival (festa) that was happening in Castelo de Vide. The festival took place at the base of a castel (did you know that there is over 200 castles in Portugal) and there were people running around in Midevil clothing playing instruments, selling their handicrafts, and even riding a camel. It was so fun, I have never been to anything quite like it!
Portugal just gets better and better. I have fallen in love with Carreiras and I haven’t even tried much of their cheese or wine. All it’s other beauties have captured my heart and I do not want to leave.