Saturday, July 14, 2012

Obrigada Portugal

So I probably should back up and tell you that we didn't jump straight from Amsterdam to Portugal. We did fly there, but we had a 13-hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany first. I wish I could say for all my German-loving friends that I had a good time. But we had a hard time finding things to do and there was terrible restaurant service and we spent like an hour and a half in the wrong part of the Jewish museum. We did go into a really cool old Catholic church though. I was in love with the artwork.

The siblings in front of the super cool church; town square, Frankfurt.

But they we got on another plane and headed to Portugal! The cool thing about Portugal is that my dad served his mission there and he hadn't been back since then (27 years!). We got there Saturday night, and on Sunday we went to a ward he served in, in Porto.
Church building in Porto. Note the super cool purple leaves design on the walls!
It was neat to listen to church in Portuguese. My parents (who both speak it) translated for us a little bit and I was able to pick up on a few words here and there that were like Spanish.

After church we took a train to a town an hour outside of Porto; Braga, where my dad's favorite companion lives. His name is Xavier (pronounced Shavi-air) and he and his family are so so great! All his kids are older than us, but their English is fantastic and we had sooooo much fun eating and talking with them. And Abi and their youngest son Davíd gave us a concert. Davíd is studying music at the local university and has a voice like an angel! It was so nice, in the midst of running from one country to another, to have friends to share a Sunday afternoon with, and member friends at that. Helped me remember what brings me the most joy and peace.
By the end of the day we were old friends.
Braga is also the center of the Catholic church in Portugal. So Xavier took us to a huge church on a mountainside. We took a trolley up that was powered by water!

Beautiful. The church is nice too.

Portugal is such a gorgeous country!
Then the next day we went to the beach, which was fabulous except for one little thing... (If you are offended by naked shoulders you might want to skip then next couple of pictures.)

Needless to say, my sunscreen job was sub-par. But I now have the funniest tan-lines of my life!

With another flight back to Amsterdam, thus ended our Europe trip. Twas my first but I hope not my last! I very much enjoyed "the old country."

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