TE19 Iberian Adventure

Passing Time in Portugal

scepticism, between childlike acceptance and the lucidity that dissolves illusion. The writer cannot passively observe from oft stage what he seeks to convey. The writer lives the story and walks amid the wreckage they describe. Such is the nature of time and human existence. With empire and exile on our mind we bid Pedro and Maria farewell and left behind the once shining city of scholars, poets, and artists. “In the Algarve,” Grandad mused, “one people’s golden age was always another’s decline.” • Morning, noon, and evening passed interrupted in this forgotten corner of Western Europe. The haze lingered as we rumbled through villages hidden in the folds of undulating Eucalyptus and pines clad hills. Goats peeped over dry-stone walls, a detour down a dirt road led to the eerily silent Funcho Dam. A backwater provincial townon the Lisbon-Faro railway, Messines is outwardly unremarkable in every respect. The courthouse and small-town post office, mid-century additions from The New State. Salazar’s public works were a provincial take on German and Italian neoclassicism, an ode to a simpler, more rural existence. There were no boutiques or upmarket bistros the Old Algarve, the cobbled streets could be transported from anywhere – only family diners, opticians, and chemists. An old lady watched the 179 III – Princes and poets

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