Distress and Delight

Saturday and we have different agendas. Mark and David take off for the beach because it may be the last fully sunny day we have left. Tannis and Bob head back to the castle of St George to explore the neighbourhood around it.

After wandering through some shops and walking around the neighborhood we stop on a little patio come plaza area to have some of the bread and cheese we carried. We were off on one side out of the way of people walking around. I noticed a guy come over and crouch down in a couple of places trying to get a picture. As he stooped down behind us I looked at him and he made eye contact, but then put his camera in his pocket as he walked away. Needless to say when we packed up to continue on, Tannis’ bag was gone. There was nothing in it of any value but it means we are inconvenienced with things that were useful to us, especially Tannis’ cholesterol pills. It really took the edge off the day, and while I was annoyed with him, I found myself hoping he would have an experience which would change his lIfe for good. So please join in prayer that the grace of God will drench his soul and he will find a blessing in a life of giving rather than stealing.

We worked our way over to see a big church we had seen from the castle. It was the church of St. Anthony, but was closed. As we walked around the corner of the building, we came upon people spreading out items for sale and gradually realized that we we walkIng through a flea market which went on for several blocks around the church and into several side streets. Following around, we came to another church which is the church of Santa Engracia, and now the National Pantheon. It began as a church commissioned by Princess Maria, daughter of King Manuel, built in the late 16th century. In 1630 the tabernacle was desecrated, an innocent man executed for it and two years later the Brotherhood of the Slaves of the Holy Sacrament began a new chapel as an act of Atonement. In 1681, the still unfinished structure collapsed taking down part of the original church. The present structure was Started again in 1699 under Joao Antunes, but stalled in 1712 after his death, because of doubts about it’s ability to support the cupola, and inspite of several false starts was not completed till the middle of the 20th Century. All of that information is so I can share with you a motto in Potugal which is “Obras de Santa Engracia” which means a job that is never ending. Love it!

However, the building did end up being a phenomenally beautiful building housing the tombs of four presidents plus other Portuguese luminaries including Amalia Rodrigues, one of the great singers of the 20th century, famous for her interpretation of Fado. There are alos four sculptures, representing Saints Anthony, Joseph de Brito, Teotonia, and Joao de Deus. The cubed foundation has a stunning plaza on top surmounted by the great dome. The pictures that follow do more justice than any description I could give.

Back at the hostel, Mark returned from the beach exhausted and dehydrated, so he laid down for a sleep and we decided to leave him when we went out for dinner at a Fado club. However both guys showed up in time for the show which was wonderful. Unfortunately the food was not so much. The performers were two male and one female singers, a mandolin and a guitar player. They did a set between each course of dinner and it was sometimes heartrending in spite of not knowing the language. It went from 10:30 to 23:45. A second thoroughly delightful evening in a row.

You will remember that David wanted to take us out for dinner and it turned out to be a gift from him and Dee Dee to celebrate the completion of our pilgrimage. We went to a restaurant in the hotel Mundial on the top floor with a panoramic view of the city. You can see the hotel in the pictures of the demonstration. The food was delicious and the whole evening was perfection.

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One Response to Distress and Delight

  1. romi says:

    Sorry to hear about Tannis’ purse… it’s a really good thing there was nothing very important in there! You are a better person than me wishing the thief well… I find myself pissed off with that kind of insensitive ignorance. What if medication she needed was in there, or all the money you had left, or the only key to your accommodations, etc… That could really have been a game changer. I applaud your positive outlook though and could most definitely learn from it for sure, Bob.
    I’m REALLY glad you guys made it out to see some FADO music. By chance was it Mel Cazhinado? I think that was in Porto though. Hope you guys are doing great and enjoying the last handful of days of your trip! I can’t wait to hear more stories when you get back!
    Love Romi

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