Friday, March 12, 2021

WE ARE IN PORTUGAL!

 

We arrived in Braga February 21st, and have been busy ever since, having work done on our flat as we stayed at a hotel for 2 weeks, and then moving in and having some follow up work as well as doing lots and lots of cleaning. Our attorney arranged for the flat to be painted and then cleaned, but that was cursory cleaning: vacuuming, dusting, mopping. The people who lived here before didn't clean much, and you really wouldn't be able to pay someone to come in and do the cleaning we're doing. But we are undaunted. It's a beautiful flat. It just has needed some TLC.

What was strange was to see Braga without all the tourists. The streets in the historic part usually have throngs of visitors, and now it's normal life in the side streets and empty plazas outside the cafes and restaurants. Below is Cafe Vianna, one of our favorite hangouts, as it used to be, and as it is now. They even hung black on the door handles for mournng.




But Braga is always a city of gardens, rain or shine: Above my first paragraph are tulips at the Santa Barbara Gardens (photo taken by my husband.) And below are some white and red cabbage plants also at Jardim de Santa Barbara: 







And here is Avenida da Lliberdade in the rain, yesterday:

             



And a few days before, looking out our hotel window, my husband saw this:


Meanwhile . . . the flat. It's coming along. It looks a bit stark in these photos because our shipping hasn't arrived yet. It was due to come in on the 18th to Lisboa, but now that has been postponed to April 7th. 
Thus the walls are bare of pictures and our bookshelves are empty. (Sniff.)



The dining area. (Actually the living room and dining room are part of one large room. This is one end. 




This is the other end: The sliding glass door leads to an enclosed balcony. We plan to put pots of herbs out there. 

It's a continuing adventure. But despite a few surprises and challenges (all  manageable) we are happy
to be here. BTW: the beautiful blue orchid was a house gift to us from the gentleman who was contracted by our immigration attorney to organise all the work to be done.

I've never seen a blue orchid before, have you? 


20 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

I can imagine how lovely the flat will be when you've finished!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Vicki, We are liking it more and more. We liked it's appearance right off - the new paint, the furniture our immigration attorney picked with the money we sent her; but when so many things needed fixing, we were a little apprehensive. Still, the work is inexpensive compared to U.S., and the workers work hard. We are satisfied with the results and are settling in.

Elephant's Child said...

Wonderful news.
And no, I have never seen a blue orchid. What a lovely house-warming gift.

Mirka Breen said...

You are living a life that is not only full of beauty and grace, but is now CLEAN also :)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I am THRILLED you are there and sorry to see how empty the streets and cafes are. Same here, of course. I think your new place is beautiful and has SO much potential. Hope your things arrive on time the second time around. Just glad to know you made it and have shared some beautiful photos, too. Yes, that's a lovely orchid. I would think it's rare.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, E.C. I was really dazzled by that orchid. I still am. There is a garden shop nearby where I plan to ask all my orchid questioins. :-)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Mirka, I always enjoy your comments. As for clean - not quite clean as I want yet. I'm taking it room by room and small project by project. But we really like how it is shaping up.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I'm glad you are back, Elizabeth. I hope that means your health is good again. Glad you like the photos. And I hope Bleubeard is doing well. Take care and keep doing your lovely and original art work.

Kenda Turner said...

Beautiful glimpse of Portugal, thanks for sharing! And wishing you all the best in your new home :-)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Kenda. It's very nice to be here after thinking about it for so long. We still are a little amazed that we actually did it!. Looking forward to doing some first hand research for my next book. And REALLY looking forward to the end of Covid so that we can visit all our friends again. Hope all is going well with you and your family.

Rosi said...

It looks like a lovely place to spend your sunset years. I'm glad things are going so well. Thanks for the pretty pictures and for keeping us posted.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rosi. I'm glad you like the pictures. There will be more to come, for sure.

Sandra Cox said...

Wishing you much happiness in your beautiful new home and area.
Yes, I saw a blue orchid for the first time at a botanical show.
Take special care and keep us updated.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Sandra. We are really happy we came. On another note, this was my first glimpse of a blue orchid. Such an amazing color!

Sandra Cox said...

Your flat is going to be wonderful when you get squared away. Love your screened in balcony.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, again, Sandra. Yes, we think we lucked out with the flat. We've had to have a little work done, but nothing as expensive as buying a more expensive flat in an area where we might not be able to walk to all the things we like. It's a nice little neighborhood, too, with cares and shops (once they reopen) just a few doors away for the day when we can't walk so far (although that day seems a while in the future.) We have a garage, too; although, once we buy a car, we expect to use it mainly for trips.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I'd love to travel again! The most I can do is go camping...which I'll be doing this weekend :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Good morning, Lynda! Thanks for stopping by. I envy you your ability to camp. My husband and I tried so many times to go camping, and nearly everytime, it rained! I think you have to start out early. We have many friends who love camping, but going with them didn't seem to help our odds. We actually told them, "Don't invite us, if you want good weather for your trip." :-)

DMS said...

The flat looks lovely. Glad it is all going well and any issues have been manageable.

What a stunning orchid!

Best of luck with all the cleaning and arranging.
~Jess

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, good to see you here, Jess! Thanks for the good luck wishes. It is all coming together, but I think I'll be cleaning and re-cleaning for a long time. Most of the flat is tile, and the grout is old and, frankly, dirty, so it may take repeat cleaning until it looks normal again. But we really like the flat so much. Now, we are just waiting for our books and pictures (and clothes, too. I have about 6 or 7 jean outfits I've been recycling since January 4th! But I really can't complain. We are happy to be here and relaxing more and more each day.