Goodbye to winter, hello spring

In winter you can become nostalgic when staring into the flames of the hearth with a drink in hand, or watch a beautiful wintersunset,  thinking of past times.

At least I do

I thought back to the beginning, when we just arrived, how everything felt different.

I could be amazed with the orange trees, which were verdant in the middle of winter and full of oranges. I could stand there smelling, taking it all in.

I was delighted with all the coloured houses. Bright orange, lively yellow, cosy pink, sweet blue, daring lilac.

I was moved by the friendliness of the people. Happy with the politeness in traffic – it would happen often that another driver would let me pass with a smile. Or that another driver smiles when coming the other way.

Everything was new

The Termas was just around the corner from civilisation, it was forgotten. I like forgotten places, where you can still feel the past. Where almost nobody comes anymore, and where it’s nice and calm. All the vibrations of the modern life are gone.

That’s what was nicest in the beginning.

The buzz from the city was missing

16 years later it’s different. I still take in the smell of the orange trees, although mostly in spring. I also still like to hear the “Avé Maria” from the church bells in the nearby village. I embraced the friendly nature of the portuguese, I will also sit behind the wheel with a smile on my face and give priority to someone else with a smile. But I got used to colours, the smells, the friendliness and the courtesy.

It’s become normal to me

The buzz of the city is still absent, but this place is no longer forgotten. Now it’s a developing area, there’s life, people come and go and all bring their vibrations. Those vibrations come to rest after a couple of days – that’s always nice to see. We’re still at the edge of civilisation.

This winter we haven’t had guests. There were things to renovate, to improve, to maintain and it’s better to do without people around. We did quite a lot of mosaicing as well. So it was quiet. Lots of time to contemplate.

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Spring blues

And now,  when I’m looking into the flames, and spring is beginning … and the booking season is starting, I secretly think: “Oh, don’t book! Let it be a forgotten place, like in the beginning …”
I have to get used to it again. But I think it will be a nice summer. Like always. It’s the transition from winter to spring – it’s normal.(*)

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(*) Full with mixed sentiments! Winter nostalgia and Spring enthusiasm together. We’re busy putting together a nice program: April and May will be the months for singles.

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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 portugal’s cultural heirlooms. Termas da Azenha, a old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and camping ground, there’s also a swimming pool. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere. The old bathhouse is a museum, where you can see how things have changed

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