Today is our first day of living in Portugal. Yesterday evening we arrived on our property with our car full of plants and other fragile stuff.
Our new home.
I can hardly describe how that feels. Months, if not years, we have lived up to this moment. And now, that it is finally there, we are still stiff in the control mode: unpacking the car, getting the camping bed in order, checking if everything is still the way we left it, tapping water and finally crashing in our bed: nothing romantic, euphoric or exalted to it.
How it began…
In 2007 we, Nuno and Dona, got to know each other and on our first date we talked about that we both wanted to live abroad. On the second date we already made a top 5 of possible countries to live in. And 18 months later, we made an exploring tour through Northern Portugal and Galicia. It was January, it was freezing in all turismo-rurals and because of the snowfall we sometimes had to change our destination.
I remember a moment on the highway somewhere between Braga and Viseu. We drove through a thick fog and had no idea what kind of landscape we were driving through. I think that therefore in the years that followed this area of Portugal never had our interest. From the first acquaintance it was a blind spot.
At a certain point I had to pee. The next motorway stop was still a long drive. And so we luckily took the first exit. Immediate there was a signboard directing towards a restaurant. A darkish building loomed next to the national road. There were some trees that stood out black against the thick white mist. It seemed as if only the bar was open, where some gloomy type men were standing. I was not confident to find a clean toilet there, so walked back to the car. “I’ll wait” and we drove back to the highway.
A few months ago we drove from our home towards Viseu. We took the nationial road to save toll and see more of our new environment. Just before the town of Castro Daire, along the N2, is a large restaurant, which often looks a bit deserted. And suddenly I saw it: we’ve been here already on our first vacation!
Almost 9 years, 33 property visits, 3 almost bought houses and innumerable quests on the internet later, we now live in the blind spot.
Isn’t that ironicAlanis Morissette