Tag Archives: history

Caminho Portuguese: Bonus Round #3

Any Portuguese town looks like a bride’s finery – something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.  – Mary McCarthy

August 23-24, 2019

Using old school maps we walk along the metro line in Matosinhos until we need to go away from it to find our hostel for the next two nights. (Actually, Randy and Joan read maps and I just follow.) We manage to wind around neighborhoods, a large hospital, and cross crazy traffic until Randy spies a tiny sign in front of the building – Oportocean Hostel.

A metro line stop is practically in our back yard, so off we go to the old section of Porto, to take advantage of a free Porto Walking Tour advertised. Look for the orange umbrella for a tour in English. The tour guide is fabulous, taking us all around the old city centre, along the Douro River, while pointing out interesting landmarks and sharing a tremendous amount of history for two full hours. This young lady will do very well in life and we make sure to tip her accordingly.

Shame on people that ditch a tour when it is almost over to avoid tipping. Rant over.

Camino Portuguese Day 13: Night Hiking, Mausoleums and the “Squid.”

Saturday, August 18, 2018: Caldas de Reiss to Cruces Inn, Escravitude, Spain|26 K

We bid farewell to the Lotus Palace (Does the name sound like it should be located in Asia?) at 5:25 a.m. hoping to put in a longer day thus reducing the distance tomorrow as we enter Santiago de Compostela. The past few days have been alongside the freeway N-550 so it is assuring to know we are not lost if we occasionally hear the busy traffic.

It’s always fun to visit with young people as we walk and Randy enjoys learning and sharing special handshakes, such as “The Squid,” with some of the young men we meet. Laughter is also shared along with the handshake.

We cross the bridge and enter the city of Padron which is the legendary starting point of St. James’ ministry in Spain and also the subsequent return of his mortal remains following his martyrdom in Jerusalem. We spend some time exploring the church and find it well worth the stop.

Challenge of the day is finding our destination of Cruces Inn (a new albergue) located past Padron and Escravitude, but asking directions and the prominent signs posted here and there lead us right to the door.

We locate the friendly owner in his office, check in to our lower bunks and explore the grounds. Cute, clean albergue rooms with storage units, bathroom/showers in two locations and a storage shed used for pilgrim overflow. Apparently, no kitchen so delicious food is ordered and delivered from town, while beer and wine is always on hand. Highly recommend Albergue Cruces Inn. Plus, we are promised coffee and breakfast in the morning ~ double hooray!!

These days of hiking have flown by… Santiago tomorrow!!

Camino Portuguese Day 8 ~ Old Roman Road


Monday, August 13, 2018|Rubiaes-Pedreiro, Portugal|12 kilometers

Day_8-1171The number of pilgrims is putting pressure on the bed supply so there is no room at the inn if we walk to Valenca or Tui. We opt for a short day and reserve a bed in a bunk house at Quinta de Camino in Pereira. Too early to check in so we order a little snack…Day 8-1178

The long, dark, narrow bunkhouse reminds me of a railroad car, so I kind of expected it to start moving.

Nice hotel rooms are close by and we enjoy visiting with a delightful Brazilian/Netherlands couple on a working vacation, along with their daughter, and two young German men. I take the night off from taking photos/videos and now I’m kicking myself!

A short video of Day 8:

Camino Portuguese Day 7 ~ So Tired!

Sunday, August 12, 2018:  Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes, Portugal | 20 kilometers

Oh, so tired today.  Ponte de Lima festival included loud music from midnight to 3 a.m. this morning. The albergue balcony with open windows, due to the heat, allowed all of us in our section of beds to feel as though we were part of the fun and  merriment. Style of music was not the lullaby kind and the tremendous fireworks show after was lengthy, as well. Thus, little sleep, but that’s o.k.

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Warm temperatures today plus we climb the largest hill on Portuguese camino. By the looks of the photo above we tackled it like beasts! All rocky sections are compared to the Loch Lomond section along the West Highland Way and this was not as challenging.IMG_1078e

Beautiful views, but we must hustle along as we hope to score beds (bottom bunks) in the 5 euro Albergue de Peregrinos in Rubiaes, Portugal.

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Welcome!

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Yeah!! We arrive in time… Our home tonight is an old school converted to an albergue filled with bunk beds, well supplied kitchen, large dining area and outside patio/laundry area complete with clothes lines strung across the sunny yard.

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Image from Albergue de peregrinos website

Albergue de Peregrinos is an old school converted to house Camino pilgrims with rooms filled with bunk beds, well supplied kitchen, large dining area and outside patio/laundry area complete with clothes lines strung across the sunny yard.

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Image from Albergue de Peregrinos website

Chilling in the patio area outside, we meet a tall man from South Korea who has completed the whole Camino Frances from France to Finisterre, Spain and immediately started walking  the Camino Portuguese backwards from the coast. His current unemployment status has given him time for this lengthy endeavor and by now he can cover a tremendous number of miles each day. While you may be tempted to look at this as a mid-life crisis situation,  I would prefer to see it as an opportunity for personal growth. To each their own, right?

Short video featuring Camino Portuguese Day #7:

Camino Portuguese Day 6 ~ Celebrate!

Saturday, August 11, 2018: Casa Fernanda to Ponte de lima. We sadly bid farewell to our new friends at Casa Fernanda and embark on a short, but hot 12 kilometer day. It’s as though the hills are singing to us as we walk from one festival to another.

Below is a short video of Day 6:

 

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A line of RV’s from all around Europe are parked along the river take on the duties of “Welcome Wagon” as we enter Ponte de Lima, so it took a while to visit with the gang. It’s hot and  we have been told the Municipal Albergue de Pereginos doesn’t open its doors until 5 p.m.  All the time in the world, right?

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Wrong… Randy makes the trip across the bridge (While Joan and I have a cold beverage) to check out the bed situation and discovers  Albergue de Peregrino opens at 4 p.m. and he is encouraged by camino friends to get our bags in line ASAP! We quickly get all of our bags across the bridge and get in line for beds. When the doors do open we stand in a long, slow line for well over an hour, but it’s worth it as we do get beds.

All low beds and we have a beautiful view… A-a-a-ah-h-h-h.

 

 

 

Farm Boys Go to War

Marietta Legion Post #156 in Marietta, Minnesota has chosen to honor these fallen soldiers with commemorative metal displays. While working on the images and designs I couldn’t help but wonder about the anecdotes and stories behind these young farm boys called to duty during WW II.

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Did soldiers from the farm really make better soldiers? I’d like to think so. Farming in our agricultural region along the Minnesota-South Dakota border couldn’t have been easy during the Great Depression that preceded the war. They would become competent carpenters, plumbers, electricians, engine mechanics and general tinkerers. If they didn’t have a part they made their own and jury-rigged items together just to get by. Transfer these skills to military life and the powers that be would have considered them invaluable assets.

28-3171aThese were not the only soldiers from our area to die as a result war. The list above includes all Lac Qui Parle County casualties during WW II. I recognize familiar surnames from the area and wonder about their stories, as well.

The Sun Sets on the Alibi

March is coming to a close and with it the sun is setting on an  iconic establishment located in historic Gary, South Dakota. When Saturday,  March 31, 2018 comes to an end, Bruce and Diane Melby will turn the page of a forty-one year chapter of their lives.

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The Alibi was purchased from Jim and Karen Giesel in April of 1977 and since then Bruce and Diane Melby have dedicated their lives to providing a place for people from all walks of life to sit down, engage in lively conversation along with delicious food and beverages. For this we thank you.

It has been a landmark and meeting place for many purposes (Meet me at the Alibi!) and a safe, local hangout for young and old alike. For this we thank you.

Not only did they provide an establishment for food and drink but jobs for young people in the community, as well. These two are credited with teaching many youthful employees through the years how to deal positively with the public, work hard and still be able to laugh.  This influence has had a tremendous impact on young lives beyond  what a parent may be able to accomplish. For this we thank you.

While slaving away working incredibly long hours, they together raised five children who have grown into personable, hard-working, all-around awesome adults. I don’t know how they did it and I’m guessing they may look back and wonder the same. For this we thank you.

A loyal employee, Sarah Wynn, has been a key factor in the success of this business providing tremendous support with an amazing and diligent work ethic along with tremendous dedication to her job. For this we thank you.

The Alibi is a legend deserving of the Gary, South Dakota Wall of Fame.  I will always hear the thud of cowboy boots walking across the old wooden floor, clink of coffee cups, chatter of lively conversations along with occasional outbursts of laughter ringing in my ears. While the business may close its doors, these memories and everything they represents will live on in our hearts forever. For this we thank you.

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I leave you with this reaction from Bruce Melby when asked about retirement plans:

Looking for a business venture located in a charming historic community with great people? Opportunity awaits you in Gary, South Dakota!