Mosaic addiction

It is already the umpteenth time. She keeps coming back. Once each year. Sometimes even twice a year. We are talking about some 50,000 kilometers! A clear case of Azenha addiction.

Once upon a time

It started about 14 years ago. Our old accountant was there, the handyman who always had helped us out and his family, and a few old friends with their sons. They had encouraged the daughters of their friends to come here, “the four flowers from Gouda” – four young girls who came to help.

Astrid came through recommendation of a friend as well. As a single mother, a destination as ours is very comfortable. On your own in a hotel is not exactly what you’d call a lot of fun. Here you are more like family, plus you do useful things in a pleasant atmosphere. If you don’t like to sit a lot during your holidays, you’re good here.

Everything still was quite unfinished, to put it mildly, and a lot had to be done.

Developing a mosaic addiction

The first mosaics were realized already, and the trend was set. Those few bare walls in the town square also could be refurbished with beautiful mosaic. As the wall of the reed filter near the pool. As a terrace here and there. As the entrance to the bathhouse. As some bathrooms of some holidayhouses. Etcetera, etcetera.

Mosaicing has become a hit. In recent years, Astrid helped to beautify the Termas and made some gorgeous mosaics. The Tiger is one of them:

It’s actually become a tradition that she comes at least once a year. And yes, there’s almost always a mosaic project going on here. There are quite a few walls decorated with mosaics around the swimming pools. The covered terrace by the pool “Alice in Wonderland” also contains Astrid’s work.

10 or more

On average, about 10 people work on a project. Glueing pieces and grouting usually is a lot of work, and is often done by volunteers. Once I have the idea, and the design is clear, we can start.

Bit by bit it’s becoming clear if the design is ok, or that is has to be changed a bit.

It is not difficult to do mosaics. With the basic techniques, you quickly can make something nice. And with a little experience, you can do beautiful things. It’s different then drawing or painting, but you certainly can make fairly detailed figurative stuff.

We developed own style of making mosaic. The Azenha style. The overall theme is fairy tales. That offers the liberty to do all kinds of things. An old book with unknown fairy tales from all over the world, that I have since childhood, serves as an inspiration.


The Furnace (*) will be ready soon. Now, it is mainly making miles. Four and a half square meters of glueing pieces. As I’m writing this, the sea is almost finished, we’ll start with the sky.

Astrid’s galleon floats, the silhouettes in the boat are rowing in the light of the full moon.

Mosaic making is addictive if you are sensitive to it. If you are, you’ll travel thousands of miles to be somewhere in the Portuguese countryside just to make miles.



(*) the Furnace is a terrace beside the pool, so called because in the summer it can be quite hot there. It is completely sheltered, ideal for spring and autumn.