Category Archives: blog

Bird spotting early in the morning

Never knew that there were spoonbills here. Learned something again! It flutters and whistles all around, so I don’t really notice it. In my world there are large and small creatures with wings. And of course the floating, diving & swimming ones.

Yes, I know, I am a barbarian, certainly compared to the ornithologist that we have the honour of hosting.

Funny, because there are two bird spotting people next to each other, and they both have a great view over the fields

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The water attracts an incredible amount of flying creatures. The big ones: storks, egrets, ordinary gray grumpy herons, sacred ibises, other ibises ( forgotten their name), stilts (learned from the birdwatcher guest), and even sometimes flamingos. They were here a few days ago. A large group of flamingos. They come for a few hours, graze over the field, and they’re gone again.

They were very happy about that, but to me they were very strict

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“Ellen!” Susan said half-laughing, half-seriously to me, “you don’t mean to tell me that you have never seen a spoonbill here. There’re fields full of them! “

I bow my head in humility. Sorry, I’m not an ornithologist … but I recognize storks and herons! That is already something? A spoonbill looks a lot like a stork, in my lay eyes. And all those little flyers, european robin, robins of others origins, hawfinch and the gray-brown great tit … I know what an eurasian hoopoe looks like. Those live here too. And a kingfisher has been spotted. 

“Yes!”, I say enthusiastically, “I know! When we first came here they lived in the reeds in the ditch, but they do not like humans very much. I thought they moved out, how nice. They are beautiful, aren’t they! “

Early this morning I was busy with family apartment One, because one bird lover is gone. On to a next adventure. I went outside to empty the kitchen – many people leave a lot behind – when I saw the neighbour and collegue-ornothologist sitting on his chair between the reeds.

I mimed good morning, and he carefully waved back

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There is a lot to see, so early in the morning. Beautiful way of waking up. Nicely seated at the edge of the ditch and see everything there is to see.

The other bird watcher made a mosaic of a spoonbill. To be honest: I think the mosaic is equally beautiful …

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

A German wave

His wife is standing in front of me in the hall in front of the bathhouse, telling us about their adventures on the beach the last day, and the shenanigans of the water. He is leisurely leaning against the door, with a face that shows little expression, but you can feel that he enjoys the story of his wife.

It was quite an adventure, today at the coast

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Almost every day to the beach. You can choose which one. Do you want to be able to swim well and be on a nicely populated beach? Then you go to Figueira. Would you rather have a quiet one, and maybe buy a nice fish, fresh from the ocean, then you go to Costa de Lavos.

If you’re lucky, there are beautiful high waves! This foto is an extreme, we don’t have them here that high normally. If you’re an experienced surfer, you dream of these.

Do you want to climb between the rocks at Buarcos? To the surf school in Costa Cova? Better still: to Cabedelo, the best place (experts say, and I just repeat it) to surf at the delta of the Mondego?

You can choose. Beautiful clean beaches await you in just under 20 minutes

The German family was a fan. But they had not counted on the unpredictability of the ocean.

A bit, because: “We’d looked carefully, and calculated that we could put the towels and the things there.” She has to laugh very loudly, and her husband smiles at her memory.

From my point of view, she’s apparently reliving it all

They were beautiful waves, the past few weeks. Nice high, and a lot! You can have a lot of fun with it. But! Cherish at all times a holy awe for the sea, because there are strong forces at work.

You think: okay, the tide’ll be low, so we can easily lie down here, just off the water line. You spread out your towels, put down your phones and your e-reader, and you all play with the waves.

They just came back when an outlier came. It’s like that. It is an ocean, with an unpredictable temperament.

Our German guest bowed to the ground with laughter, when she remembered the panic that caused the raging wave. “I just grabbed my towel, when I saw my shoes drifting away behind me, and I cried: O! Look! My shoes! “

 

Her husband was still happily leaning against the door and enjoying her tasty story in an undercover manner. I was full of laughs, but also frowns when she told the drama of her e-reader. That was saved, fortunately (“There are 400 books on it, I read a lot, and this is my everything!”) But there is an ugly crack on the screen. And when her daughter, in her zeal to comfort and to help her, tried to polish it, but instead of cleaning it, caused two less deep scratches in there.

Her husband asked me a few hours ago if they could do a bit of laundry. It was a bit in a hurry, ’cause they’re leaving tomorrow. All towels were soaking wet and covered with sand. I didn’t hear about the drama yet, and said, “Of course! Leave ‘m here, then I’ll take them to the washing machines. “

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It weighed a ton! Only five towels but with a few kilos of sand each, and soaked with a few hundred liters of water – it seemed

It all ended well. They could go home with dry towels, and with a lovely memory.

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Children’s games count down

I understand why children learn to count young. You quickly need that. It is knowledge to survive. To make friends. To be able to participate. To count down. To count as a person.

Children’s games almost all start with a count down

 

During the day you come across groups of children who count on one knee, with one foot against the feet of the others – like a flower of feet – to do this.

“Two-frogs-on-your-head-you-are-very-dead.” It’s a little more efficient than our former “Eeny meeny miny moe, Catch a tiger by the toe, If he hollers let him go, Eeny meeny miny moe.”

If things are not going well, and the judgment is not found to be fair, then it is exactly the same. An explosion of indignant cries: “No, not at all!” “Not fair!” “Well! You’re dead! “” Not !! You’re dead! “

The only difference is that we used to be “moe” and they are now dead

What can happen when you unsuspectingly walk to the swimming pool – that a little boy of not even 80 centimeters of hight is running right past you and shouts: “Shoot me too! Shoot me dead too, please! “

His extraordinary request is because the big children are doing a game where that little man literally comes behind. After a few days they had found a solution themselves. The biggest boy with the longest legs was a combination with the smallest. Then you came across that little fellow again, panting, and I said oncoming: “He is in that direction” but then I was wrong, because: “He gets them for me, he can run much faster” and byebye, away he was again.

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Here and there a little guidance, but for the rest they guide themselves

These group processes go very fast with children. They hardly meet, or they’re already busy chasing after each other, or they do a bomber dive in the pool while their parents still shake hands.

Some things are not allowed. You can not sneak in the adega to pick up scissors, pliers, garden tools and machetes to play in the tree house. That is too dangerous. When you are caught in the act, you are summoned to bring back everything.

Of course there are also dramas sometimes

I caused one myself. Unintentionally, of course, in fact: I stood in the doorway of the bathhouse and called to the children who were running past: “Hello, all of you!! Pay attention! “

Very benevolent – strange eyes – they froze, one foot already on the next step of the stairs to the Fairy Tale Terrace, ready to go on but with a little bit of attention, because they could hear that it was apparently important.

“I’m closing the glass door now! Tell the others, if you meet them, don’t forget it! “And while I was turning around, a girl bumps against the still half-opened side of the door.

“I thought I could just get through”, she said a little shakily to her mother, who had been alarmed by a few of the others, “I thought it was still possible.” Oh, gosh, she was right on my wrong side. Had she taken the other way, she would have been absolutely right. And now she was sitting with an ice pack on her head, and she had to go to the motor home to cry very loudly in peace and quiet. Without an audience, because everyone was obviously crowded around to see what was going on and to comfort her.

I felt her pain because I also ran into it at full speed, when that door was just mounted

It hurts effing much. And she went a little faster than me.

Fortunately, she didn’t have her glasses on – that’s something positive – and the ice pack did a world of good.

She was playing a games with the others an hour later.

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They will be coming, and they will be going. The remaining lot is not difficult about it. Just go on counting. Counting, riming, running, swimming.

That’s what it’s all about.

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Bicycle Race of a Queen of the roads

There are people who love cycling. Just for fun.

You see a lot of groups of cyclists on Sunday morning. All tight in coloured lycra, a lot of nice bright colors passing by, and like the portuguese do: chat a lot in the mean time. There are cycling clubs throughout the country. There are not so many bicycle stores though.

In the past you could buy bicycles in the supermarket

We did that once. You’d better not. Those are worthless bicycles.

Let’s say we gained some wisdom.

We have taken bicycles from the Netherlands. Thanks to the Red Bus there are four reasonable examples here. They are mainly used by the volunteers, and occasionally by the guests.

They are not super, but we could do it with them

At the moment we have a guest who likes to cycle every day. She came up with a question about whether there was a rental in the neighborhood, to which I offered ours with some trepidation, and explained that nobody knew if that bike rental would be available again this year.

A few years ago I suddenly saw a bicycle rental in Figueira on the boulevard. What a good idea! “It’s an experiment”, they said at the Turismo, “there is a very long bike path along the boulevard, all the way to Leirosa. This is an initiative of the Municipality to see how it goes. “

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She arranged the whole thing completely by herself, surfing on the internet. I find this an impressive achievement. If you’d speak the language and know the country, it’s already not so easy to arrange things, but she did it from a distance – easypeasy. That is what passion does with you; if you want something really badly, you’ll arrange it.

Secretly I think: will be bureaucracy again, that the bicycles didn’t come back the following year. Because well, no bike to see the following year

Shortly after, a store opened in Santa Luzia, on the road to Figueira da Foz. An initiative of senhor António Seco Santiago senior. Sale, rental, repair and all accessories (many colored lycra).

He had put down a new building, with everything for your bike at the front, and a metal workshop at the back. Smart combination, because you can hardly go anywhere for metal. Here you can have your garden fence welded, a beautiful pendant for your outdoor lamp, or as we did: make a stainless steel countertop.

The store Julia found on the internet to rent her holiday bike.

At the road they put two beautiful signs, one for each direction

Now it is normal in Portugal that you compose your company name from the name of the region and the name of your activity. Fozmáquina for example, Formilectrónio, resp. machines in Figueira da Foz, and an electrician in Formigal.

You can also use your own initials. António sénior opted for that option, with the idea of ​​doing something modern and international. He called it: ASS Bikestore.

Unfortunately, no one had told him that with his initials, it would be better not to opt for that option …

It didn’t last long. When junior joined the business, it was soon over. But there is still a remnant along the way, just look:

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Completely out of hand

I can’t help it.

No really. Seriously.

It just goes like that

It starts with an innocent mosaic somewhere on a wall. And I didn’t even make it myself, it was a wonderful initiative from the “Family Preto”. Well done. Useful too. Everyone can see how it’s called here.

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In the winter it gets a bit messy in that corner, especially when it rains a lot. And it’s a sight spot, you can see it from the road when you drive. Bit of a disgrace when it gets dirty from the humidity. Not a nice entrance. And I was fed up scrubbing.

So when (mosaic) friend Astrid had plans to come and visit, it began. And since the two overarching themes of all mosaics are water and fairy tales, we ended up with a nice fish, a mermaid and stripes of water. To make it fit with the mosaics on the stairs with Antoine the seahorse and Bilqis the mermaid.

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Once you have reached that level, it is very strange to leave the bottom part empty

So it’s completely out of control, people. The little mermaid has joined, with a couple of her sisters, and the sea witch. And now there are even 3-D plans as well! Down there in the corner.

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Come and have a look for yourself. And try it. It is so much fun to do!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Lost volunteer

“There were a lot of winding roads, with beautiful views!” says the mother of Ylva radiantly, and Ylva herself translates: “We were lost. The GPS said we were already there, but we were not. And I didn’t recognize it anymore, close to here … how do you say that again … Pudrògauwng? “

“Very well, great”, I laugh, “and this is a very positive way to get lost. There are plenty of people who get totally grumpy because of that. “

“Why should we be grumpy about that?” Wies asks in astonishment, “it’s a beautiful landscape, plenty of time, and we’re sure we’ll get there in the end.”

“Lost” volunteer Ylva is back. This time as a guest, together with her mother

The other times she was here to help during the summer, and I have very good memories of that.

The first time I lay flat on my back – literally

The volunteer team that was there at the time was my salvation. I caught a nervous-back-problem a few months before the high season. Probably from lifting heavy crates of tiles, because mosaic is a nice art form, but it’s also hard labour.

And I always lifted like: “One, two, three …. and go !! “with a hard tug to lift that crate off the ground. You should not do exactly that. Since then I always say to a heavy thing (a full gas bottle or something): “Eh-eh! I never do it with a hard tug! “, and then I’d divide the tiles over 2 boxes for example.

Once you have felt the pain of a pinched nerve between your spine, you will not forget that any time soon!

That team of volunteers saved the summer of 2015

Tribute to Ylva, Roos, Judith, Barthe and Jesse! And son Broes, of course, but that develops more and more like rock in the surf. Judith and Ylva showed a clear predisposition to domestic work. They may not like it to read, because it is not tough, but I think there is an enormous undervaluation for domestic work.

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Household is part of everyone’s life. And here we have a huge household

The issue of organizing and planning well. Everything in place, so you can blindly grab. Juniors often do not have that routine, nor do they see the point of it. I clearly see that. I have regularly searched half the village for something that was not in place, and I can become quite grumpy again.

Then I wouldn’t be able to stay as radiant as the lost ladies mentioned above with their flexible attitude!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Singin’ in the rain

I’m singin’ in the rain / just singin’ in the rain / what a glorious feeling / I’m happy again

This spontaneously comes to mind when I lie in bed, and hear the rain singin’. At half past six in the morning I vaguely wake up and think: “What? Is it rainin’ again? “And just after that:” Oh no! The sheets are still hangin’ outside! “

(Even in my sleep I can make jokes – not the good ones, but still …)

Then I turn around and go back to sleep again – I can’t do anything about it anyway

“If this is climate change, I’m not a fan”, I make a joke to my son, who’s vaguely awake when he drags himself into the kitchen. He doesn’t appreciate the joke. The morning is the time of the day when he gives a mumbling answer to everything.

Some people are like that.

Doesn’t matter, I’m used to it, and everyone has his/her own way of doing things. This is normal behavior for him. Especially early in the morning. Few hours later, he’s the one making the jokes.

But that rain, that is ab-nor-mal

It’s pleasant for us, because it doesn’t rain all day of course. We’re still talking Portugal. It’s cloudy, sometimes with a beautiful threatening dark cloud in between, which sometimes discharges his/her (?) content above our heads.

Not necessary to water the plants. And it’s 23 degrees, so no complains about that.

Different story in United Arab Emirates, a visitor told me, who had found the Termas on the internet, and was interested in the water. Water is a precious commodity in the UAE, and pure mineral water that just flows out of the hills through a bathhouse – that gentleman wanted to see this!

“It is now 50º there”, he said concisely, “I’m thinking about spending my last years here in Portugal.”

When I almost fainted from only hearing about this heat, he shrugged and said: “Ah, you get used to it. It can be as high as 60º. But then you’ll not be outside anymore. “

I understand that you want to move to such a wonderfully temperate climate like this, wíth rain every now and again

And I immediately did not really mind the cloudy sky and a little bit of rain.

That got even better when I talked to my Russian guests, who almost started to dance with pleasure. They stayed for a month, and adored it.

“In Moscow it is now very hot, very briefly, and then it soon becomes boots-scarf-hat-gloves-again”, not really agreeable. They found the cloudy skies “just beautiful!”, and the temperature very pleasant.

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In the meantime I emailed a woman from Brazil who reported that she was lying there all day with a fan on the sofa, and was trying to do something on her laptop. No energy. “So humid …” she complains, “I am looking forward to being in Portugal in September!”

The only ones who do not want to be here at the moment, are the people in the north of Europe. They have beautiful weather, almost the entire month of June. Also very rare

Here it’s back to normal again. Nice and warm, sea breeze in the afternoon, a few white clouds, but that’s not bad. The big advantage is: all water supplies are replenished, and there’s much less chance of forest fires.

Normal is for a Portuguese summer: 25º or something, and no cloud in the sky!

The rain brought something more – a rare and wonderful surprise:

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

The saint – day of São João

June 24, that’s today – the Sunday of Saint John. It’s an old acquaintance, especially for people who have something to do with catholicism, because he’s not only a party animal, but also holy. Holy day – holiday – vacation!

The special day of São João, just after the longest day of the year

We’ve already heard many stories about São João. In the past, when this was a real thermal spa resort with a doctor and a reception and a cleaning team for the baths, it was the official opening of the season.

The day you could bathe in the three thermal baths for free. Termas-da-Azenha, 500 meters further Termas do Bicanho and 500 meters further Termas da Amieira. The latter have since fallen into still fairly attractive ruins, where the municipality of Soure has created a small swimming pool. With that special medicinal spa water.

That pool is very popular. On hot days it is very crowded with portuguese people who enjoy eating and chatting, and of course merging themselves in the medicinal water. The water of Amieira is almost the same as ours.

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Five hundred meters away is Bicanho, an abandoned complex with barracks-like buildings

When we first came here, 20 years ago, it was said that there was a new owner, who first wanted to try to sell it for a nice profit. If that wouldn’t work, then he’d make a spa resort out of it himself.

It was also offered to us, but we were more interested in the third one: Termas-da-Azenha

We didn’t like the barracks-like-look of Bicanho, but yes the idyllic village-like-look of Azenha.

On the day of St. John the bath season was officially opened. That had an enormous attraction. People came by train, walking, with their donkey carts and a few with the car. We are talking about the early 80s, almost 40 years ago.

Everyone was allowed to take a bath everywhere for free, and then it was party time

The Portuguese do that very well: festivities. Do not underestimate the importance of festivities! That makes beautiful stories, happy faces and good memories.

In our salão, the big room in the bathhouse, there were a few people with those typical Portuguese guitars, perhaps a harmonica and clappers, and the rest were dancing.

They also sang there, and since the hall has an opera-like accoustique, that’s sounded fantastic!

I would love to travel back in time, preferably with an invisibility cloak, to secretly have a peek to see this delightful crowd. No worries in the world, away with everyday life, just singing out loud and dancing.

A few years ago I was at a concert by Mariza, who suddenly came here in Soure at your fair (very special, such a big star – Mariza has even been a guest at David Letterman!), where everyone around me sang along. They can still do it. And where we northerners start hesitating after a few sentences, they know everything from beginning to end.

I look forward to the future – as soon as there is a time machine, I really want to go back. To sing and dance with the crowd

Have a nice day y’all! Bless São João!

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Stresslevels, before and after

I’ve been accustomed to stressed faces for years.

When people arrive here.

For the good observer the price of the year-round competing, running and hurrying can be seen on the parental faces. The children are not yet that far, and usually they also have something to swipe in their hands, so they’re sweet.

I always think it’s a revelation to see the difference after a few days

I have sometimes thought of making a photo series: “before” and “after”. That’s of course not possible.

You can’t ask that of people you never met before.

“Hello, welcome to the Termas! It’s nice to have you! Can I take a picture?”

That’s a bit strange, right at your arrival.

And it’s not only the stress of the whole year, but also of preparing everything, packing everything, thinking about everything, and arranging everything.

blog_stresslevels-before-and-after-representative

left: before – right: after (a few days)

There’s still a lot on the shoulders of women

Mother is still usually the one who arranges for the cat to be accommodated somewhere, that the plants get water, that the passports are okay-ed, that the children pick out the things they want to take with them, etc. etc.

The list is long. Differs per family, of course. Differs per holiday

If you go skiing you take other things with you when you go to a 5 star resort on a tropical island.

I don’t have any idea what to take when you go skiing (nor even 5 star resorts on tropical islands), but I do know what you have to take care of as an average family on an average holiday, what you have to arrange and what to think about.

And to serve you, there is a list here

Hopefully it’s useful, and it helps against small scares in the middle of the holiday as: “Oi, my anti-allergy wasp set is still on the table. Forgotten!”

Perhaps a reassurance: we have such a set here. Because well, here out in the fields there are sometimes wasps between all the butter- and dragonflies …

blog_Butterfly_Garden_Buddleia

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<< previous      >> next one

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

The target group

I regularly think about it, but I have not been finding the right answer for years.

I know who our target group is not.

blog_the-target-group

Example? Those people who are counting the threads in the sheets. Not those.

Or those types that find towels of Marks and Spencer’s far below their dignity.

Or people who think they deserve it all: “Because you’re worth it.

Not them. That automatically selects itself, because those people don’t like it here.

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Old houses covered with pieces of tile. What’s fun about that? They don’t see the history, the beauty and all the space. Why? I think: because they don’t have any imagination, nor fantasy or playfulness.

Those people need it for their self-esteem that they drive around in a new expensive car in the latest fashion color with silver edges around the windows. This year again: black – nice in a warm climate.

No problem, as long as it gives status, and the air conditioning is on anyway.

This indicates that you are an Important Person, an I-P

Who’s worth it. And – to keep this hopefully amusing muttering going on a bit – they have to go to a luxury hotel to achieve that. “Usually we go for four or five stars, so yes, this is something else”, a blonde lady in her fourties once said to me, in a well-rehearsed childish voice, and when I saw the big bags under her eyes, I immediately agreed with her.

She had to relax urgently and immediately, do nothing more demanding then browse through a glossy, because it was noticeable that she had a hard life being sophisticated and cool. It takes a lot to be an Important Person! You have to sacrifice something for that.

Is vacation only about luxury?

I think it’s very important what you need at that given moment. There are times when it (life) eats you alive, and that you want to go away. Then such a ***** hotel is very nice. A box spring in a beige room (*), a swimming pool with a gargoyle, a massage and yes please, all-in. Nothing else. No surprises, just predictable, and the same everywhere in the world.

Yes, and internet of course. Hey. How could you do without.

We on the other hand have things to offer that five stars never can or do

We have no stars except that huge amount in the night sky. Or the two mosaiced ones on our kitchen floor.

blog_the-target-group

 

 

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And in the spring fireflies – flickering floating little stars that give you the feeling that you’ve landed in a fairy tale. We don’t offer luxury, but comfort.

“Hi Ellen, just an email from me. I’m back home, but not yet completely landed. I have to recover from this holiday – what an experience! I’ve never felt so comfortable anywhere. I am fully charged again from messing around in your garden, as you called it, from the mosaicing, from walking around the Termas, and from those cozy conversations in between. Sometimes about nothing, sometimes about the meaning of life. Very nice, and I’ll definitely come back! And then I’ll take my daughters with me. I hope you can handle that, four women Johnson! “

We once had a guest who didn’t want to go for a day of canoeing on the Mondego with his whole family, but rather stayed here to turn the compost heap upside down. That had his full interest. Somebody has ever been, who said on his third day: “I’m not so much of a sitting person, and we’re here for two weeks. Now I will do my girlfriend a favor, and I will keep quiet and celebrate my first week of holiday, but then I really want to do something. Don’t you have something to build? “

blog_the-target-group

And then we all went to throw a floor in the house-without-roof that became the FairyTaleTerrace. He had never had such a good holiday. And the best: his girlfriend too.

blog_the-target-group

Thanks again, T!

There were people working in the garden, making jam, or delicious dinners; once a guest has sewn a beautiful dress, and there have been many who also wanted to glue along a bit with the mosaics. And then we have not even included the pure fun that the FancyDressingRoom produces.

You can’t do those things in a five star hotel. I think: not in any hotel

So yes, my conclusion is actually kind of: our target group consists of people who like to do something during their holidays. Who want to go their own way. They’ll read if they want to read, they’ll mess around if they want to mess around, they’ll go for a swim … well, you understand now.

I guess you catch my drift.

Because they are creative souls.

I say in a trumpy way: we have the best guests. Really fine guests. The best of all.

(*) We claim the term beige room, that stands for: everywhere and always the same with no surprises

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....
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