Thursday, October 25, 2012

Back from Portugal!

Guimaraes Logo with Buttons

Back from vacation, back to real life.  Le sigh.  I have been back for more than a week but you know how it is to readjust (and the inevitable cold from flying).  Portugal was beautiful and easy to get around.  The people were all lovely and kindly spoke English.  I speak passable tourist-level French and Spanish and figured Portuguese wouldn't be too much of a stretch but, boy, was I wrong!  The spelling and grammar are similar, so I could read things well enough to get the gist, but the pronunciation is so different that I couldn't understand a word.

Textile decoration in Teleferico Station
We visited Lisbon, Porto, and Guimaraes, a small city about an hour from Porto.  Guimaraes was named European City of Culture for 2012, so it was a great year to visit.  A lot of money had been poured into it and has a lot of interesting history.  The button sculpture at the top is the Guimaraes 2012 logo, a G turned on its side so looks a bit like a heart.

Palacio Nacional, Sintra
I managed to encounter some interesting textile and fashion related stuff along the way.  The fabric sculpture at leftwas in the Teleferico station in Guimaraes (the sky gondola that takes you to the top of Mt. Penha).  The fabrics are arranged in the color of a rainbow, and there was also a flag garland.  Unexpected little piece of art!

On the right is an azulejo, blue-painted tile, from the Palacio Nacional in Sintra.  I loved the woman's hat!

Fabric Store, Rua Augusta, Lisbon


I was amazed to encounter a fabric store on the main tourist drag of Rua Augusta in Lisbon.  The window displays were gorgeous, with tonal fabrics draped artistically and inspiration photos showing how the fabrics can be used.  I have to confess, though, that I didn't even go in the store.  The fabrics seemed to start around 40 Euro/meter, and while I'm sure I could have found something gorgeous I just don't have a need for a luxurious and luxuriously expensive souvenir fabric.

MUDE (Design Museum) Lisbon



In Lisbon the Museu do Design e da Moda (museum of design and fashion) is free to visit.  It's in an old bank building, and the permanent exhibit downstairs is really cool.  It's a chronological look at design and fashion over the past 100 years, with about 8 different "stations" as you walk in a circle through time.

There wasn't a whole lot of fashion--a lot more home and industrial design--but I really liked this coat from Dries van Noten.


The textile-related photos from my trip are here.  You can see all the photos from my trip here, and view them as a slide show here.  There are a few new wardrobe elements in them which I will write about soon! 


20 comments:

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Glad you had a wonderful vacation and that you are home again safe and sound!

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

what a great trip, you go to such interesting places and lovely photos - looks like you had nice weather. thanks for sharing.

Nancy K said...

We went to Portugal for our 25 wedding anniversary and it was a marvelous country. We stayed an extra day in Guimaries because it was so lovely that we ended up missing Porto. Glad you enjoyed it as well.

T. Sedai said...

Sounds like a fun trip! And I know what you mean about speaking Portugese vs. reading it - one time in high school Spanish class the teacher played a CD of Portugese music, I thought I was listening to Chinese! She told us we should be able to pick out words... Uh, no. Anyway, glad you had fun and hope you are recovering from your post-vacation cold.

Adelaide B said...

Ahhhhhhh. Ok. So that's where you were. Looks so much fun! I've never really thought about going to Portugal. Hmm. I've got Seoul and Taipei coming up though, so I have plenty to look forward to. Glad you made it home safely!

Karin said...

Glad you had fun in Portugal! I remember being charmed by the trolly cars in Lisbon.

Clio said...

It's so hard to come home from a wonderful trip. Looks like you had a great time.

A Rebelde Sem Casa said...

Hi. I'm from Portugal and would like to thank you for your kind words.

About that store in Lisbon, yes, it's very expensive, just for (very) special occasions.

Luckily, that area of Lisbon is full of fabric and notions stores of several price ranges, so one can go fabric shopping on a budget. You got to see one of the most expensives :)

Sintra is a beautiful place!

Lisette M said...

I enjoyed your pictures very much, what a beautiful country!

MushyWear said...

Welcome Back! Thanks for sharing the photos and tidbits from your trip. So glad you had a wonderful time. Looking forward to seeing your new wardrobe items too.

kathy said...

There is always a NEED for souvenir fabric.
Just because your suitcase doesn't close . . .

Debra said...

Thank you for sharing yoru pictures! They are beautiful. I am looking forward to hearing more about your new sewing projects.

garnet128 said...

How totally wonderful for you. I never considered going to Portugal. We are planning our
30th to Holland and Ireland and maybe Paris. Your pics are fabulous...thanks for sharing.

Rosie said...

Trena, your pictures are great. They bring back great memories for me. The next time you are here in NYC, let me know. I will give you a bottle of the Mateus Rose.

Sheree said...

Thanks so much for sharing your photos. Really enjoyed them. They are so clear and well composed. Those artistic talents come shining through!!!

McVal said...

That sounds wonderful! someday... someday...

I would have gone into the shop just to touch fabric that's what??... about $50 a yard?? My money conversion just isn't what it used to be. I do however still have about $8-10 worth of Euros in my purse...

Call it a cheap souvenir!

Mary said...

A new country to add to your travel list :-) Thanks for sharing your photos with the links-I enjoyed them.

Mrs. Micawber said...

I do like that coat. It looks as though there are some interesting sleeve details - will have to check out your other photos.

One of my high-school Spanish teachers used to speak Portuguese to us sometimes - she did it so carefully that we could often understand her. But I'm sure that everyday Portuguese spoken at normal speed would be very difficult.

Sounds like you had a great trip!

Uta said...

What a fun holiday, I really enjoyed looking at the pictures. And resolved to travel to Portugal one day, that should be do-able from here :-) . I admire your resolve; I would probably have caved and bought an overpriced piece of souvenir fabric!

Lyrique said...

Wow! You really opened my eyes to Portugal. Your pictures show me that it is not at all the dry, dusty place I imagined. I have not idea where my preconceived ideas originated, but I'm delighted to discard them all. The architecture, the modern with the old, the blue tile on the outside of buildings, the Moorish influence - all fascinating to see. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures with us.