Jan 13, 2013

Sailing with da Gama

Baudolino’s Eco teaches us that if our minds can conceive a thing it must be verdad, so I know that, in the land of Presbyter John, the Common Sense Advisory is truly that and the wit and wisdom of Angela Merkel shall lead the Greeks and Portuguese on the Straight And Narrow Path to Full Economic Recovery. Se non è vero, è ben trovato.

So I realized as the road turned from Lisbon and the highway named for my patron Saint da Gama took me across the ocean bridge toward Paradise. He and I set sail on a sea of asphalt and tears, the canvas full with the wind of song, carrying us to a new world.

We passed through a green and pleasant land of milk and vinho verde, the sun smiling on our journey as I woke slowly from the frigid nightmare of el norte, rubbed my eyes and saw clearly

the signs which would lead me to freedom again.

On the road without tolls, less travelled, I passed through the fogs of thirteen years,

fortified myself with café and sandes mista at roadside inns when my body required sustenance,

passed by Golden Arches with their promises of culinary delights.

Entering the gates of the City Upon The Hill at last, I followed the broad avenue to the palace,

my glance passing in tired benediction over the mendicants and students resting in the sun with the others laughing and quarreling before it.

Quite a knocking indeed I made as the porter, young and lively at his work, turned the key and bade me enter.

Master Policarpo welcomed me and showed me to my chambers, where I changed sweat-soaked garb grimed with the dust of Teutonic Tribulations and dressed in gayer, brighter attire better suited for the feast which awaited that evening.

As I made my way back through the corridors to the room that night, tipsy with tinto, I diverted briefly to the courtyard chapel, where I lit a candle and spoke a prayer of thanks to São da Gama for guiding me safely to this place.


  1. Just great Kevin. Bit of Poe in there? Would love to see your new, gaily-attired Portuguese self. Like the pictorial history - very good.

  2. Kevin, enjoy your stay in Portugal - and keep us posted on your adventures in the land of my ancestors. :-)

  3. A very poetic start to your time in Portugal, Kevin. Wish I were there with you - it definitely beats working in an office all day even if it is foggy half the time!

    Hope you settle down quickly and enjoy the change of scene and mentality.

  4. I wish you a good stay in Évora, Alentejo! Region of good food and even better wine :-)

  5. Thanks, Paula! I've been twice already now, and I'll go a third time this week or next before I drive down a fourth time with my dogs to stay. This is my new home :-)

    The food and wine of Alentejo are excellent, of course, but I find the women and song equally noteworthy ;-) The warmth and kindness of all the people I have met there is truly amazing and a great balm for my spirit after 13 years in Germany. As a welcome back to Germany on my last flight, the EasyJet crew had me arrested on false charges. I am considering whether to press legal action against the company and individuals involved or just leave them all to rot in their own Teutonic Hell. It really is a shame that all the good people in Germany allow the users and abusers to call the tune for the piper to which all others are expected to dance :-(

    Wir sind das Volk! Na? I agree with that, but it's overdue that the people show what that really means once again. And they will, even if the Revolution will have to get started in Greece and Portugal.

  6. I love your style of writing, certainly spruces up your travel writing!


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