Tag Archives: B&B

Moving from one appartment to the other holidayhouse

“What? You’re going tomorrow?” I am confused for a moment, surprised, because: “I thought the day after … ” and then happily: “Maybe you were going to move back to appartment Two, I thought … that is still 3 days free … “

Opi laughs. “Yes, that would be nice. Then we would have ended where we started.”

Opi is a sweet grandmother. This is evident from her name. I do not think that non-sweet grandmothers are called “Opi”. Her two grandsons are clearly very fond of her.

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Mother Ann was late with reservations. I had one week in Two free, and a few days in rooms and houses

After receiving so many years of emails and guests, you get a little feeling for how the people behind the mail are. This mail gives me a nice feeling, cheerful and loose. Especially if there’s another one right behind it with only one sentence: “I just had a lot of fun reading your blog with the description of your target group!”

I think that’s very nice to read, so I sent an e-mail with that message: “Thank you so much, I appreciate it that you send that – after all, I have no idea who our blog actually reads!”

Later, during relocation number 3, when they staid in the simple rooms in the bathhouse, and they had no kitchen of their own, but were allowed to use our kitchen, she came back to the subject and said: “That blog about the winers who count the threads in the sheets … hilarious! So then I was like: We will stay there! That must be a nice place! And of course it is not that far from Coimbra where my brother lives.”

Moving four times, from appartment to holidayhouse to rooms, in two weeks is quite a lot, but if you are as flexible as they are, it’s fine, and it’s an adventure every time

“We love to stay here, so here we go again,” Ann says cheerfully, and I am very happy with it. I’m happy if nice guests want to stay, I have no objection.

And it is fun! Our dog fell in love with them head over heels. Donkeydog is on their terrace, and always moved along with them. It was clear who her favorite was …

Ann even got her a special pill against ticks and fleas. She doesn’t have any flees, but ticks know where to find her.

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Ann had taken them specially for stray dogs, if she would encounter them. She works in a company that makes and sells those new pills, and they work fantastically! Fortunately there are not so many stray dogs anymore – the Portuguese also learn to treat their animals better.

Donkeydog went directly to the Bravecto pill

I got an extra pill for October. It works for months. Well, she’s certainly going to get that, because I haven’t seen any tick anywhere anymore. You can just cuddle with her without those dirty animals getting in the way. Very pleasant!

Everyone has done so. I mean the cuddling. That dog is cuddled like crazy. Lucky for her, other candidates have arrived, otherwise she’d have toughen up.

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They’re going back home, the final move. We’re staying here, with good memories – and a pill!

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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.

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They return voluntarily

“I think portuguese sounds so good,” says Tim cheerfully as I try to avoid a few dogs scurrying along the road, “I don’t understand a word of it, but it sounds good, and that gives me a great holiday feeling.”

He continues: “I first heard it from my aunt’s friend, she met them in Brazil – her husband had died and then after a while she started to travel a bit – and then she met that man. He didn’t speak a word of English and neither did she … “

“But how did they communicate?” I ask in amazement

“Oh, pretty much with hands and feet … he came to stay regularly, and then they talked a bit past each other – but she did have a friend who spoke Portuguese, so she could occasionally translating … funny is it not? “

We are at the hardware store, I have to get out and do business. Arrange tiles. Before the lunch break. Otherwise, the store closes, and there is nothing to arrange for half past three.

Too bad, because Tim is a pleasant talker. I remembered that from 12 years ago

They were volunteers, Tim and Jessica. In September, not a bad time at all to volunteer here in Portugal.

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I remember that it was warm. Start a little earlier in the morning because otherwise some things can’t be done anymore. In September, it is better not to plant poles into the ground in the full afternoon sun, for example. Or weeding weeds in the vegetable garden.

“I remember very well that I was annoyed that I stumbled over that one little stone”, laughs Jessica at dinner, “I am also such a klutz in that respect. You have that wide staircase, and the whole village square, and then you stumble over that one little stupid stone.”

Her whole face is laughing. The positive attitude to life radiates from it

“And that André … what happened to that?” Tim asks, “that was a different story!”

Oh yeah, they were here together with André. And Bernadette, the Hungarian volunteer, always modest and smiling. I never know exactly, who knows who, that is almost impossible to remember. There have been so many volunteers in the meantime!

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Young Bart” has been here for almost a year and a half, and once counted how many volunteers there were at that time. He came to 87. I was surprised about that number. That’s a lot! I didn’t have that feeling at all.

I still have contact with many of the volunteers. With “young Bart”, with Tim & Jessica, and so on. You get a bond – it’s not only special  just for them, for me as well.

A number of them become part of the extended family

Sometimes it goes like this: first as a volunteer stay here, and then come back as a guest. Sometimes it’s the other way around. And sometimes people become addicted. Whether as a volunteer, or as a guest.

You may become addicted – I think that’s a good idea!

In fact, we do everything to promote that. Watch out before you book! Before you know it, you come back to weed the garden or to paint the wall …

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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 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 ....

Goodbye homeland!

Just arrived guests: future colleagues! They were completely euphoric last night because they just signed the contract to buy their dream house. Now there´re more and more people move from the homeland to come and live here, and it seems they all stay at the Termas for a while. Sleep a few nights, just to take a look at how it goes.

Last week, a couple arrived who will even stay here for a few months, looking for their dream place in the centre of this beautiful country.

Now I’ve been playing with the thought to promote the Termas as a temporary residence, but then for a few years.

Because what happens? I have seen it happen several times. People sell everything after their retirement, and buy a house here.

Totally awesome

They enjoy all the hours of sunshine, they love to work in the garden – no stress, nice and calm, but after a few years it’s not new anymore. They don’t speak the language or almost not, they don’t get contact with the locals that easily, no network anymore, all your friends and family have long been there, they almost don’t see the (grand)children.

And after that, it becomes even more uncomfortable: they’ll get something undefinable physical, and then they’ll be in the medical circuit. Without speaking the language in such a way that you can explain what is wrong with you.

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I went with one of the older residents to the hospital

And then you definitely get in touch with the other culture. A portuguese doctor is an authority, and what he / she says goes. Assertive patients are not appreciated here.

They want to go back home, but it’s very hard to sell the house

Or another variation: people have been on holiday and are lyrical about the climate and the friendly people. We want that too! The road from dream to deed may be a long one, but there are people who walk that path.

Our newly arrived guests bought a house with a few rooms. They will be collegues.

Goodbye homeland!

“You didn’t seem so excited last night when I told you that we’re going to be in the tourist business as well,” Henk says, when he is behind my computer to print his tickets, “is that possible?”

“Yes, that’s right,” I admit hesitatingly, “there are quite some new ones over the past few years … at the moment there’re maybe 40 in the area where you’re going to live. I don’t want to be a miser but it’s a lot of work to get it up and running. “

Because yes, I already know the other side of Portugal

The Portugal of the vast bureaucracy, of the closed bastion, of how complicated that language actually is, how to adjust your financial requirements to a portuguese level.

The insanely high fines for very minor offenses like having an incorrect version of the complaints book, for example. The inspection has charged a 1,500 € fine for it. Can you believe it?

Or, in the event of illegal rental, fines of 20,000 € plus closure.

“Make it all legal, if I may give you a good advice,” I say, “because you can get huge problems with the authorities and possibly with insurance.”

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But uh-oh, enthusiasm is deaf for warnings

Local residents often come here to have a drink, or visit the Termas to relive their memories, or to take a bath in our wonderful healing mineral water. Certainly in August this often happens. We chat a bit while I serve their super cold beer and Duvel, and they tell me they work in Luxembourg, or in France. Why?

“Life is much better here,” we say to each other, “but it’s a lot harder to earn your money.”

“But if I’m retired,” all portuguese add, “but then I will come back home. The homeland is the best.”

Well … apparently it is one or the other. Fine. I choose for the other.

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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.

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 tuesday on LinkedIn.

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

No Boat & Breakfast anymore

“It smelled delicious at your place last night – wonderful smells on the breeze.” I’m kidding, “and then I didn’t dare to pass by with a glass of wine. That would have been too obvious.”
“Aaah! Really? “Ramona looks at me perplexed, “ogosh, that’s too bad! I cooked way too much, and I thought: Ellen could easily eat with me. But I thought it was silly to ask! “

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We’re at the Multibanco in the next village because Ramona never has cash with her. She needed some, and I was going to do some shopping anyway at this super supermarket here.
Like this it’s not necessary to go with that huge motorhome.

It’s off season. It is still quiet

And that’s exactly what she wants. Birds singing, a tractor far away in the fields …. enough noise. She has been at the beach recently:
“I have something like: can you put that sound off? after a couple of days. Then I really had enough.”

Travelling with your motorhome to the wide horizons and do what your heart tells you. Who wouldn’t want that? Yet there are not many who actually do it. It’s not always easy, especially if you’ve just met someone back home. But if your heart continues to yearn, well, who are you to fight that? So, on your way to Portugal!

The Boat & Breakfast was doing well

but there were just too many downsides. People from all over the world came to that beautiful spot, but the boat was her own house also. If there was a booking, she had to remove her belongings, and went improvising in an old motorhome nearby. Now that’s not so bad, especially if it yields nice guests and ditto merits, but eventually it’s enough.

“It was just an ad on Airbnb: “Boat & Breakfast”, and it went very well. I got everything fixed up and bought most things secondhand, and I put that whole story on Airbnb. People thought that was sympathetic. I’ve had really nice guests.”
Ramona is a little wistfully at the memory, “It was a beautiful place with a great view, but it was too much.”

And people were increasingly booking last-minute

“They were at the airport, I got a call that they would be there in a few hours. I had to pack up everything again, and start cleaning lickedy split. Mwah … less you know! “
“Yes, I know,” I say, “at least, that last minute. That is indeed increasing. Very annoying, because you have to drop everything and you have to run in overdrive as it should be done now now now. I always try to ensure that a number of houses are ready, but you couldn’t do that, of course. “

“No, I didn’t feel like improvising all the time in that old campervan because of the possibility to get a booking.” she says, “so well, when I had the idea of going to Portugal. I sold the boat and bought the motorhome, and here I am! “

“Any idea what you’re going to do?” I ask, a little afraid that she’ll answer: start a B B, because I have the feeling that the market is saturated. Quite some start-ups in recent years, in this region certainly a dozen alone. Now Turkey has fallen as a holiday destination, and Portugal seems to be having the best year since ever – but there is a limit.

Luckily no, not a fixed place yet

Maybe a place in a community, such as “Vegan Hill” in the Algarve. You also have something like that in the Serra da Estrela, but hey, it’s very cold there in the winter. It’s a ski area. You wouldn’t expect that in Portugal, but yes: the first year I was driving around here, I was sitting on a sleigh in the snow in the middle of February. Much to my own surprise!

We have to say goodbye. It’s time to move on again

“I have a wonderful time here, nice and quiet, it is such a good place,” Ramona says and gives me a big hug, “and I was thinking if I would take the little dog because it’s a real sweetheart. But anyway … no. “
“So sorry,” I say, but actually I’m a little relieved. Although I didn’t want the dog, when she landed a few weeks ago – out of the blue, I’ve become quite fond of her. It is indeed a sweetheart, so she stays here.

There should remain a few permanent residents here after all!

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