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.

One thought on “Return to Vila Franca de Xira

  1. 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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