Return to Vila Franca de Xira

2018 5

(Ponte Marechal Carmona bridge over the Rio Tejo at Vila Franca de Xira)

Next week I will be attending the creativity workshop I mentioned in a previous post so we need to find a place to park Denis and Ruby while I attend. We think we found the place. It reminds me of home, for a couple of reasons. One, the campsite is a 20 minute walk to the train station where you can catch a train to the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. We live a 20 minute walk from the train station in Greystones where you can catch a train to bring you to the capital of Ireland, Dublin!

2018 4

(See the footbridge? Above the Chinese symbols? Hello, the walkers!)

Two, back in 2016 I got an opportunity to travel a section of the Portuguese route of the Camino de Santiago from Lisbon with a lovely group of very experienced Camino walkers from Greystones. As we drove into town this morning, I remembered being here before. Now from the campsite I can see the foot bridge over the train tracks that took us from a busy dual carriageway to a dusty track on the route to the town of Azambuja. Nice memories.

2018 1

(Can you see the river through the trees? Remember the one that was flooding a few days ago? That flows through Lisbon? I was calling it the Tagus but in Portuguese it’s called the Rio Tejo. We’re probably safe enough up here…)

Tomorrow we are having a practice run to Lisbon and this morning I went down to the station to buy the tickets. The campsite manager had given me instructions for getting a travel card that can be topped up so I went straight up to the desk at the station with my instructions. When they realised I was speaking English a second man arrived and asked, Is this for travel today?

2018 2

(It’s very quiet in the campsite)

Me: No we are going tomorrow.

Man: Ah, ok. The reason I ask you about travel today is that there is a strike.

Me: Oh. Will there be a strike tomorrow?

Man: No, not tomorrow.

Me:  That’s great. (Big smile, turning into quizzical frown…) What about next week?

Man: No, not next week, the week after.

ME: (Very big smile) That’s really great! Obrigada!

2018 3

(Precious water)

Isn’t that perfect, the strike is today, before the workshop and again after the workshop but not during the workshop. I think we picked a good place and a good transport option. But, as I am of a certain age and have experienced Ireland of the 80’s, I seems to remember the very essence of a strike can necessitate surprise action…

Baring all surprises I will indeed be able to travel from here to Lisbon by train for my workshop! Mairead.

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One Response to Return to Vila Franca de Xira

  1. Grahame says:

    OK Mairead, enough of the niceties. Have you take. The photo of some poor misbegotten local as he or she was harmlessly walking down the street? 😜

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