Sitting in the house that Capital built By William Bowles

29 May 2006

They say that travel broadens the mind, unless that is, your intended destination is a shopping mall, then you’ll need your GPS device to figure what country you’re in.

Gerês, northern Portugal (from a great distance)

So I’m sitting outside a bar in a small village in the north of Portugal near to the Spanish border sipping the extremely powerful local ‘hooch’ called bagaço with a cup of espresso as a chaser. The area is famous for the copper stills it makes used it seems, largely for brewing the powerful liquer which tastes a little like slivowitz and although much of it is produced illegally, it’s on sale in every bar and even gets exported to Spain.

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Dig a deep hole and then lie out of it By William Bowles

24 May 2006

PCPAs I sauntered around the pretty town of Guimarães I came across what I assume is the HQ of the local branch of the Portuguese Communist Party, tucked away in of all places, the heart of the old part of the town, where all the tourists go. I wonder what they make of this symbol as their digital cameras click away? Indeed, does this symbol of an age apparently past, find its way into their picture album? Somehow I doubt it, most may not even be aware of what it represents or that on April 24 1974, the ‘Revolution of the Flowers’ swept away the hated dictatorship of Salazar, an event set in motion thousands of miles away in Portugal’s colonies of Angola and Mozambique as the liberation movements kicked Portuguese military arse.

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