Arrived at home

Blog entry April 5, 2020

After eleven days of travelling we arrived home yesterday at about 3 pm in Nußdorf

Was that a nice surprise at the door, attached by our neighbor Rosi:

„Welcome home“. 

In the kitchen we found a second and bigger surprise: a delicious Sachertorte and a bouquet of sky keys. How I would have loved to pick a few on our trip, but a full vase in the wobbly Big Fredi just doesn’t suit travelling. Now I am all the more pleased that I can enjoy the celestial keys in the vase. 

And the cake was simply heavenly. Thanks Michaela, thanks also for emptying the mailbox and taking care of our house. Also the grape tree was already cut and can now go full in juice. 

I hope Michaela can also enjoy the fresh grapes later in the year when we are gone again!

It was pleasantly warm in the afternoon and that as long as the sun was shining. The house had been ventilated by Michaela for days and filled with warm spring air. 

But without heating it would be too uncomfortable in the house and in the studio and so we voluntarily extended our travel feeling in Big Fredi.  

Now we have to live in quarantine for two weeks due to the corona virus. 

But our todo list goes far beyond two weeks. 

Yesterday, we already worked out a strategic plan for the implementation. 

The sunny and ever warmer weather will support us well and the many offers of help from our friends are a loving cushion. 

Thank you for having accompanied us so patiently on our journey so far. We are now taking a blog break during our work phase and will get back to you as soon as we have new plans for our trip and would be happy if you would follow us again!

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The 3rd day of our travel back home from Portugal

Blog entry 27.3.2020

Today was a relaxed, if not to say boring, travelling day.

Almost the whole distance led us over motorway or double lane federal roads to our parking place at the 3rd reservoir in a row. The Spanish roads are almost empty. Only a few trucks pass us. Yes, yes, they all have more power than our Big Fredi. Even on the motorway he only hums along at 80 km/h.

After Salamanca, Tordesillas, Valladolid we also circled Salamanca and Burgos. 

 

In order not to arrive too fast into the cold homeland, we went to a recommended town square in Briviesca. But already at the city entrance the police checked. Although we could get past them, as soon as we arrived at the parking lot, barriers blocked the entrance. Corona is omnipresent. 

So we moved back to the highway and because Wilfried was still in good shape we sailed around Vitoria Gasteiz and a few kilometers further on to the third reservoir in a row for an overnight stay: Embalse de Ullibarri. What luck! A few kilometres away from the motorway a natural paradise all to ourselves. Best equipped for motorhomes there is a parking lot for the day and an own one only for the night. There are also countless parking spaces along the road around the lake. A clean shore design and huge lawns on gravelled shores indicate that there are many swimmers in summer. A bathhouse, which even has marble-lined washing-up facilities, looks very clean, but is marked with a note that it is closed until March 12th. Apparently the coronavirus crisis has continued immediately, because everything is still locked.

I inspected the extensive grounds and because I find it very attractive for a relaxing stay of a few hours for tomorrow, we will enjoy the morning here a little before we continue to the French border. 

Nobody can dictate the pace of our journey. And as it is supposed to get very cold and maybe even frosty on Monday and Tuesday, we prefer to stay as long as possible in the warm south and hope that it will remain more bearable here. 

The heating in the evening hours is already pleasant again. During the night it is not yet necessary to heat through. But this morning we had only 7 degrees inside. Outside it had 1 degree. 

With heating the temperature goes up to 20 degrees minute by minute and when breakfast is ready, it is nice and warm. 

The scarf, the headband and one more jacket are now also attached during the car ride. Something that we haven’t used for months is unpacked again step by step. And heating during the day during a car trip was unthinkable since last November when we entered Portugal. 

The cuckoo and some songbirds are the only sounds we can hear outside. The fact that there is not a single motorhome next to us is only due to the corona crisis. Almost everybody has driven home before us and so the beautiful landscape belongs to us alone. 

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An exciting journey home begins

Blog entry 26.3.2020

Ulrich had been standing next to us for the last few days and I was able to go for some nice walks with him.

On the day of our departure we filled both our cars, one after the other, with fresh water in Vila do Bispo and after the Lidl shopping we had to say goodbye. Without a hug it was a little strange. Simon also ran into us. 

We took another 8 km to Sagres to dispose of the toilet contents, check the air pressure in the tyres, fill up with diesel and change a gas bottle. Then we snacked our Lidl puff pastries at the picnic area near Vila do Bispo.

Further we went on to Carrapateira, where we also wanted to say goodbye to Klaus and our dear Sicilian friends. First to Wilfried and then to me tears came to our eyes when it was time to say goodbye to this dream. It had been such wonderful months and especially in this triangle: Carrapateira, Sagres, Lagos we found so many friends and spent such an intensive time together. Thanks to all our friends who made our stay here so special.

We were able to find the first kilometres of our journey effortlessly without navigation. 

The fountain with the delicious water of the Santa Suzanna spring gave us enough water which should last for the trip home. 

By then it was already almost 4 pm. 

In Odemira we switched on the Navi and it guided us on deserted and pleasant roads towards Beja. With only a small detour we reached the Barragem do Roxo, where we spent a very quiet night. 

This morning we went via Portel, Reguengos, Vila Vicosa and Elvas to the Spanish border. 

The formalities at the border were unspectacular, apart from the number of police officers and their appearance: Face masks, rubber gloves and a machine gun. We were the only ones at the border. A halfway good, at least endeavoured English speaking policeman, whose mouthguard slipped all the time, asked about our nationality and if we wanted to go home. He handed us a piece of paper with the date and time of our entry into Spain. He registered the number plate on his list which stayed with himself, it is not written on our note. 

From Badajoz we went very fast to Caceres and from there to the motorway. 

Only then we saw the first big truck. 

The landscape changed between lovely and varying with the first green of the vines and already harvested grain fields, pastures, forests and fields to stone deserts and huge stone mountains. 

On the motorway you are a lot faster, but the monotony makes you tired quickly. For me it would make less of a difference, but Wilfried must be able to keep his eyes open. 

Just before Salamanca, about 30 kilometres off the motorway, I discovered a reservoir that is ideal for an overnight stay. Only 7 km detour and a true natural paradise on one side lined by snow-covered mountains, on the other side hills with villages scattered around. In the middle there is the Embalse de Santa Teresa. On one of the headlands our Big Fredi is now standing, the tyres already very close to the water and offers us our driving quarantine.

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Corona, Corona, Corona. 

Blog entry 25.3.2020

We have to start the journey home. 

After the police had assured us the day before that we could stay there, they revised their opinion the next day and claimed the opposite. We have to leave the country until 28.3.2020 at the latest – that means in 3 days. 

We could also stand on a private property, for example at friends with our car,

Face Europe No.118-Klaus-after 120 min

but we are not allowed to keep contact. It is because too few hospital beds if the virus strikes. 

We haven’t had any direct contact with people for 2 weeks and we are sure that we have either had no contact with the virus or that we have had a disease that has not appeared. We feel very well, are healthy and happy. 

So today we are preparing for departure: shopping, refueling, supplies and waste disposal. 

Then we have an approximately 7-day journey home ahead of us.

letzter Blick auf den Atlantik

Austria – we are coming!

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Coronavirus has got us completely under its spell

Blog entry 20.3.2020

Now everything has changed and Corona is our constant companion. No, no, don’t worry. We’re healthy. Only the Corona ghost has been with us since the beginning of the week. 

On Friday we did a portrait of Carolina without any Corona problems. 

Face Europe No. 125-Carolina

Klaus had brought her late, but at least she came when we were about to pack up. If not that would have been a disappointment. At 26 years of age, she is already an experienced and enthusiastic architect, who is very interested in architecture in interaction with nature.

Face Europe No. 125-Carolina
Face Europe No. 125-carolina-work in progress-after 15 min
Face Europe No. 125-Carolina
Face Europe No. 125-carolina-work in progress-after 120 min (2)
Face Europe No. 125-carolina-work in progress-after 90 min (2)
Face Europe No. 125-Carolina
Face Europe No. 125-Carolina

It was already dark when we left for Aljezur. We had already made our way there several times in daylight and the drive to the parking lot of the soccer field we could glide along nice and slowly. There were also hardly any cars on the road. 

The last time there we had celebrated New Year’s Eve with Paul. Since then Face Europe had really got going: 21 portraits in 2 months. 7 Portuguese and 14 other Europeans from Italy (2) Germany (3), Holland (3), Scotland (1), Ireland (1), England (2), Austria (1) and even Switzerland (1). 

On Saturday morning we set off for the vegetable market, which was praised by everyone. We climbed up the path to the market hall on foot after we dared to go on with Big Fredi only to the parking lot at the river.

In the Center of Aljezur

We had no idea where exactly the market hall was. We asked ourselves through and could also see the white delivery car with the oranges right at the entrance. Ulrich had asked us to get a crate of fresh oranges for him. We bought them right at the beginning and Wilfried guarded our achievement while I went into the market hall to be inspired by the super fresh fruit and vegetables. Loaded with cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, tangerines, oranges, leeks and strawberries we could at least make our way home to our car downhill. 

When I went to Intermarche for bread and butter, I noticed a woman with a colorful mouthguard that looked as if it was self-made. All cashiers were wearing rubber gloves. A notice at each cashier asked not to come closer than 1m distance for protection of the employees and yourself. 

We reached Barrão de São João and Ulrich could be portrayed as our last participant before the corona barrier on the open-air stage in front of the cultural centre.

Face Europe No.126-Ulrich-work in progress after 55 min
Face Europe No.126-Ulrich-work in progress after 70 min (2)
Face Europe No.126-Ulrich-work in progress after 90 min
Face Europe No.126-Ulrich-work in progress after 150 min fineshed

The next day the first indisposition of this year kept me in bed for a day. My stomach rebelled.  Thank God for only one day. Whether the cause was too much strawberry and radish the night before or a virus will not be found out. In any case, a day without eating really didn’t hurt. 

We stayed in Barrao de São João until Thursday, mostly reading and inspecting the area.

Nature does not care about Corona

During one hike I met Sofia, a Portuguese teacher. We talked at a distance of 10 meters, she explained to me that she is currently looking for a technique to offer her language course online, because from now on she is not allowed to meet with her students in the cultural center anymore. 

She told me about her project she had done a few years ago. She was interviewing people in the Algarve to find out how they were doing, why they were here and what made them stay. 

She confirmed our feeling that this triangle between Lagos, Sagres and Aljezur is a very special attraction – not just for us – but for a lot of people, and that once you’re there it’s almost magnetic. 

It’s a pity that I can’t take a language course with her. Although, that might be somehow possible… We can make a phone call. We have exchanged our phone numbers and I will definitely contact her. She would also be interested in a portrait on her part. However, this will have to be postponed until after the Corona crisis. 

We had to postpone the appointment with Soehl the filmmaker from Bangladesh, Romania an indefinite date for the same reason. 

What we didn’t want to postpone any longer, however, was the laundry. And so we left the picturesque Barrao de São João on Thursday, 19.3.2020. For breakfast we had served coffee to walkers outside, paying close attention to the safety distance. But it was too much of a temptation to offer a chat to the Austrian Sasha and his companion, a Nigerian-Scottish beauty, who came from London and her German friend. 

In Budens we could do our laundry and in Vila do Bispo we could fill up our water supply and shop at Lidl for at least a week. 

From Klaus I wanted to find out how the Portuguese have adapted the legal situation to the coronavirus. He only knew about it second hand. Allegedly wild parked campers are asked to move to private properties and immediately he offered us to park and live on his farm at any time. What an offer!

Klau’s Farm

When our food supplies run out, GNR is chasing us away and we need a nest, we know where to go. And as a side effect, I get to dig my hands in his vegetable garden, there’s always something to do, he promised!

Orangen auf Klau’s Farm
Orangen auf Klau’s Farm

But first, I’ll make good on my promise to do the gardening at Gianluca and Emanuela’s. I was allowed to help Gianluca last week when he started to redo his garden. Since they also had to cancel their trip to Tenerife, they now give their energy to their wonderful garden. Who knows how important self-sufficiency will be again in the future. An end of the Corona crisis is not foreseeable. 

We will stay here for the time being!

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Coronavirus, Portugal and Face Europe 

Blog entry Friday, 13 March 2020

Today is already Friday, March 13th and we are still standing – our friends and family back home don’t even dare to ask – in the beautiful southwest of Portugal. The last time we came out of Carrapateira was a week ago. 

On Sunday, March 8th, the worldwide celebrated Women’s Day, a man was portrayed. Diogo, who leads the restaurant Cato on the way to the beach in Bordeira. He is a man with a thousand ideas, who tries to ground himself and just doesn’t try to implement every new idea. Because this is not always easy for his employees. He rents the restaurant that has a very good review but is hard to keep on a high quality level. Only a few permanent employees work with short-term untrained woofers and workaway people. Diogo loves to cook and also cooks in his restaurant. He is very caring for his daughter and her talants.

Diogo allowed us to use this music dome, which has already served as our studio several times

As a musician he also built the music dome together with helpers from Klaus, which we have been able to poetrait for Face Europe recently.

Face Europe No. 122-Diogo-work in progress-after 50 min
Face Europe No. 122-Diogo-work in progress-after 60 min

Much to his regret Diogo had to postpone the seasonal opening indefinitely due to the corona virus. On 14.3. the summer operation in the restaurant should have started. Now even the opening ceremony had to be canceled. 

Face Europe No. 122-Diogo-work in progress-after 120 min

Diogo allowed us to take water for our water tank and so we have fresh water again for one week with economical consumption. 

Face Europe No. 122-Diogo-work in progress-after 120 min (fineshed)

It was full moon in addition and an icy cold north wind made us quite cold. 

On our return to the Bordeira beach, which had almost become home, we met Ulrich. A masseur and body therapist from Germany who would like to join Face Europe. But he had left in the evening to drive to the Spanish-Portuguese border. He is coming back to Monchique and maybe we will be able to meet him again next weekend.  

Stefan (German) also approached us to get to know us and a cycling couple (Gisela and Rolf) – also from Germany – what else, admired our car and we told them about the pizza at Emanuela and Gianluca. Spontaneously they agreed, they had wanted to eat pizza for a long time, but it never happened. All the more they were impressed by the delicious pizza and the cosy atmosphere. 

At the pizza party we met the young Portuguese architect Carolina, who will also be part of Face Europe. 

On Tuesday Lisa and Wolfgang, the two Swiss, joined us. Wilfried likes the idea of letting a member of Europe, who is NOT part of the EU, speak on behalf of Face Europe.

Face Europe No. 123-Lisa-work in progress-after 30 min
Face Europe No. 123-Lisa-work in progress-after 45 min

Lisa has an eventful and exciting life both behind and in front of her and is full of zest for life.

Face Europe No. 123-Lisa-work in progress-after 90 min
Face Europe No. 123-Lisa-work in progress-after 135 min

She was highly concentrated and the interview was exciting and as always so valuable for our own lives.

Lisa – Switzerland in the middle of the EU

On Wednesday the only Scottish woman so far, Katy, was portrayed. Her national pride is deeply ingrained in her soul and has matched our experiences during our trip to Scotland.

Face Europe No. 124-Katy-work in progress-after 35 min
Face Europe No. 124-Katy-work in progress-after 95 min
Face Europe No. 124-Katy-work in progress-after 120 min
Face Europe No. 124-Katy

Thursday was supposed to be for our relaxation and for the evening we had invited Emanuela and Gianluca to an Austrian dinner. 

However, this quietness of the past weeks on the beach of Bordeira was destroyed by a horde of unscrupulous campers. Already in the evening, loud music sounded from their huge boxes, which they had placed next to their cars. From midnight on there was silence, but at 2 am the whole noise started again. We know from experience that such inconsiderate people are not willing to change their behaviour. There is only one thing to do: escape!

Because even during the day the “music” already started in the morning. Not even the loud waves could drown the noise. Luckily we were able to go to Emanuela and serve the food outside at their porch with them. 

We had cooked „bacon lentils“ with bread dumplings. 

And because Emanuela and Gianluca are incredibly loving and open-minded people, friends came along as well. 

One of them: Soehl from Bangladesh is a filmmaker and will be portrayed on Tuesday. So our plan to move on Saturday was postponed again. Who knows what the evil coronavirus will bring us and how our onward journey will be blocked anyway. So we can just as well stay right here, where we feel so comfortable and appreciated anyway and where life is simple and uncomplicated. 

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We’re not getting out of here that fast.

Blog entry 7.3.2020

Today is already Saturday, March 7th and we are still on the beach of Bordeira. 

Loes, who spends her waiting time for her seasonal job at the restaurant Cato, gave Face Europe the honour on Monday.

Face Europe No. 120-work in progress-Loes-after 20 min
Face Europe No. 120-work in progress-Loes-after 50 min
Face Europe No. 120-work in progress-Loes-after 90 min
Face Europe No. 120-work in progress-Loes-after 120 min


For Holland we have already been promised a place at her mother‘s house. Certainly also exciting, because her mother is a puppeteer. 

Otto and Eva from Styria also got lost on “our” beach and accompanied us to this week’s pizza party.
Yes, it is already a tradition to walk to Gianluca and Emanuela once a week and to encourage as many other guests as possible to come along for a delicious pizza. 

This time there were ten of us who walked the 1.5 km. 

2 other couples were quickly persuaded to come along. They were all enthusiastic about the delicious pizza and the cosy ambience. 

On Wednesday the atmosphere at Big Fredi was a little bit sagging and nobody wanted to work. We would have rather rested and maybe even taken a little nap. Dorothé, Jaap’s partner, was also not quite convinced of the result for the time being and shouted: “that’s me?”

Face Europe No. 121-work in progress-Dorothe-after 40 min
Face Europe No. 121-work in progress-Dorothe-after 70 min
Face Europe No. 121-work in progress-Dorothe-after 120 min

But with the right distance she recognized herself and the interview was also very honest and cordial with her. 

When signing at the car, we realized that we should have put Holland further up the car, because all the Dutchmen so far are grown very tall.

Loes signed on Big Fredi
Dorothé

Thursday was a quiet day. 

On Friday we were invited to “Panela” at Gianluca and Emanuela’s house: a Sicilian national dish made from chickpea flour polenta. It was absolutely delicious. It is made of chickpea flour, water, pepper and salt, which is boiled for 30 minutes like a polenta and stirred firmly. It must then cool in a mould and is then cut into thin strips of about 3 mm and baked floating in the oil. You would not believe how something so simple can taste so delicious.

Meeting at Gianluca and Emanuela

Of course it is proven again: the cheaper and simpler the food is, the more complex is the production. There was also salad and advocado spread in addition to stuffed eggs.

Gianluca makes panela

We would like to invite the two dear friends to an Austrian dinner soon. 

Saturday was all about supply and disposal: Sewage disposal, refueling for Fredi and a lot of shopping for us. Our supplies had already run out completely and Lidl had to be visited. It is a pity that I still could not visit the weekly market in Aljezur. 

Tomorrow it’s our 15th Portuguese: Diogo, the boss of the Cato Restaurant. After we have already heard so much

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Where are the Portuguese hiding?

Blog entry 1.3.2020

French, English, Italian, Belgian, Dutch… …none as shy as the Portuguese. 

Where are they? We get to know a lot of people who were not born here and who are interested in our project. What uncertainty is making them hesitate? In no other country has it been so difficult to get hold of locals. We thought we were doing something wrong. But then we received the same answer to our question from Klaus as well as from Gianluca and Emanuela: how do you get in contact with the locals? Very difficult. 

But back in chronology:

Jule‘s portrait session was very touching and honest. She looked at her family history, which is only 25 years old, very deeply and reflected on it. She has already matured and taken her life into her own hands. Even if she does not know yet how to realize herself, one thing is very clear to her: she never wants to bend herself for other people, to fulfill other people’s expectations, before she has taken care of her own needs. May she bravely never lose sight of this point of view for the rest of her life. She is a very kind and attentive person, who does not make it easy for herself, but who is still looking for the necessary lightness in life in a very demanding way. All the best on your further

Face Europe No.117-Jule
Face Europe No.117-Jule

successful course in life. We have been able to learn a lot from you. Thank you, dear Jule!

Our French neighbour, Jean Pierre, who – not shy at all – contacted us right after his arrival next to us and at the same time as Jule, came only a thought too late to register for a portrait. So Jule had priority.

Jean Pierre

Since he didn’t want to wait one more day, we agreed to meet later, perhaps near Portimão. As he has no telephone as a matter of principle, only he can reach us. We have to wait and see if we will ever see him again. 

On Tuesday, exactly one week after the last storm, another storm arose. The kitesurfers liked that. We could see them moving along out of the car. Outside it was not fine at all. Only wrapped up and for the most necessary duties like taking out garbage we dared to go outside. The pizza party planned for that day at Gianluca and Emanuela was postponed to Wednesday. We had invited Nicholas and had to tell him that he could not come for a pizza until the next day.  His friend Allen, who originally wanted to come with us from Aljezur and whom Nicholas had just visited, unfortunately couldn’t come after all, which we felt very sorry for. But at least Nicholas could come. 6 more campers from Belgium and Germany joined us. It was the same group that we had met on our last tour in Portugal at the small reservoir. Now the number is complete: We had already met Bernd and Marion again at the beach of Amado. Yes, the energy to meet nice people here in Carrapateira is very positive. 

So nine of us walked from the beach to the pizza party and enjoyed the evening and we also enjoyed the breakfast with Nicholas the next morning. He got some more tips from us for his trip to Austria, where he wants to see us again in early May. He wants to dock at the “Garden of Generations” to do something useful. Hopefully he likes it and it will be a fruitful time for both parties. The Garden of Generations is a cross-generation, social-economic agricultural housing project in the making. Nicholas will certainly find a field of activity and a place to spend the summer there. 

We are also pleased to have him so close, only 10 km from Nußdorf. Hopefully he will be welcomed as friendly as we were 10 years ago, when the project was still in its infancy and too slow for us to move from planning into action. 

We also started the same day at noon and moved one kilometer further to Klaus – an Austrian.

Klaus in conversation with Lisbeth

He emigrated 20 years ago and bought a big piece of land here. An organic farm with chickens, pigeons, a swan, cats and a dog, as well as 8 milk cows (they are standing on the pasture outside in a valley) are his animals.

He cultivates the quite big land with the help of Workaway and Woofers. He has had a fascinating childhood with absolutely unconventional parents. A one year long journey with planned wagons through India with a group of 20 people and the attendance of the Waldorf School with a subsequent study of technology have left an important impression on him for his current project. The atmosphere was absolutely relaxed but in no way sluggish as one often finds in a hippy community. Everything was orderly, creative and with a high potential for development among the helpers. We were allowed to take part in the lunch and felt quite comfortable with our neighbours: the family of Carolina from Milan. They are currently visiting their son, who has already been living for 5 months at the farm of Klaus and gave a quite satisfied and relaxed impression. Carolina is professor at the Politechnikum in Milan at the Institute of Urban Architecture and invited us to Milan. 

This is a very special anchor, especially since her daughter is studying cultural management and may be able to help us realize our exhibition at the end of our project, which in turn may be an important experience for her professional career. 

We were allowed to spend the night on Klaus’ farm. His bitter oranges were processed by me into jam in the evening and passed on to Klaus for tasting in the morning. We were given vegetables from the garden, delicious freshly baked rye bread from the bread oven as well as a load of drinking water for our tank.

Face Europe No. 118-Klaus-after 40 min
Face Europe No. 118-Klaus-after 70 min
Face Europe No. 118-Klaus-after 120 min

Klaus also put us in touch with Jaap, a Dutchman and Diogo (a Portuguese) and made the project mischievously palatable to them by promising them that they would become famous and come into the museum. Both men can be found in the restaurant “Cato” (the cactus). Halfway between the beach and Klaus’ farm is this restaurant, which is also a guesthouse and has recently built a musician’s cathedral in clay. Drums and guitars testified a past “gig” the night before. We were allowed to use the room for Face Europe 119 for Jaap the day after. 

Face Eorope No. 119-work in progress-Jaap-after 60 min

Jaap is a rather well-travelled European with 3 siblings, who were all born in different European countries at intervals of 2 years including him: Holland, France, Germany and Italy. His 2nd home is Italy although he was sent to a boarding school in Holland at the age of 11. 

Face Eorope No. 119-work in progress-Jaap-after 100 min

His own 4 children are also scattered all over Europe and he is looking forward to his first grandchild who will be born in summer. 

Face Eorope No. 119-work in progress-Jaap-after 120 min fineshed (2)

Now he is on the road with a 47 year old German “emergency ambulance” or rather temporarily parked at the “Cato”. 

When we presented the cars to each other, we suddenly noticed that we had lost our grey water tank. We could not imagine how this could happen. We had noticed absolutely nothing of it. But it must have made a terrible noise. You don’t lose a full 200-litre barrel silently. Right next to the exit of the parking lot we found it: our ingenious waste water barrel. Everything but the locking ring was there. 

We collected everything and until we find a new metal band to replace the broken one and a temporary solution will be found, we put a bucket under the drain and pour the grey water into the next meadow. We can do this without a guilty conscience, because apart from toothpaste and shampoo once a week no chemicals are put into the water. 

Another Dutch woman – Louz – signed up right there and then for a Face Europe portrait tomorrow – Monday. 

The beach of Bordeira is already a very special place. On Friday afternoon a Portuguese car parked next to us with a German-Dutch family living and working in Belgium. They are on a short trip in their rental car. 

Diana, the mother is German. The father, Joost, is Dutch. The two daughters, Emma and Paula, grew up with 4 languages and we were cordially invited to make a stopover with Face Europe when we are in Belgium. 

In a short time we now have got another contacts in 2 countries that will no longer be a white map. 

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The last round in the western Algalve

Blog entry 24.2.2020

The pizza from Gianluca was excellent again. It is not only a feast for the palate but actually a perfect total work of art.

What looks like a dance for the viewer when he stretches the dough over his wrists to a flat slice is years of training and hard work. Keeping the fire in the oven happy, getting the pizzas in and out of the oven in time and making permanently fresh pizzas is a bone-hard job.

Gianluca from Sicily makes the best pizzas

On this evening of the pizza party we met Anna from Germany, who spontaneously signed up for a portrait. 

The Wednesday was fixed due to the weather. 

And that was a good thing. We parked Big Fredi on the beach of Bordeiro for a few nights after Emanuela was portrayed on Sunday.

Face Europe No. 115-work in progress-emanuela-after 30 min
Face Europe No. 115-work in progress-emanuela-after 85 min

Although she was not feeling well, she bravely held out for two hours and as we learned later, this was the beginning of a stomach flu. Gianluca suffered the same fate afterwards and the two of them were really sick and weak for a week. Fortunately we had not been infected with the virus!

Emanuela signed to Big Fredi

Tuesday offered us a different spectacle with a strong storm: Kitesurfers swished back and forth in the freshwater lagoon all day long. The last one only left the water when it was already dark. 

On Wednesday after the portrait we agreed with Anna that we could take her to Lagos. Otherwise she would have hitchhiked and so we could enjoy her pleasant presence for a while longer.

Face Eorope No. 116-work in progress-anna-after 60 min

We were drawn to Lagos for various reasons. Nicholas’ arrival from Asia and the reunion with him and the urgent need to do the laundry. In Lagos there is a coin laundry where the washing powder is not automatically added. So you can use the machines with your own detergent even without fabric softener. 

This is very important for my Enjo cloths, because otherwise they won’t work. 

Nicholas suggested that we meet on Thursday. Was that a reunion pleasure! He greeted us with a face mask as he had just returned from Thailand. The coronavirus is causing a lot of people to panic. Luckily we are not afraid of it and do not force Nicholas into a 2 week quarantine like the bridge club who banned him from visiting for 3 weeks.

We spent two nights at the fort between Boca do Rio and Burgau in quite peace and quiet. I was able to go for short walks while Wilfried used the unlimited hours of sunshine to work on his computer and cut movies. 

On Sunday we returned to the beach of Bordeira with bright sunshine and almost too much heat. The mood was great and even improved when we suddenly saw Emanuela and Gianluca appearing. Also Jean Pierre from France and Jule from Germany joined us.

Jule, a student of art history, has arranged a portrait appointment with us today, 24.2.2020. 

It will be an exciting afternoon. 

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Carrapateira with many new friends becomes our second home

Blog entry 15.2.2020

Right after Greg’s portrait, we packed everything up and went off with our “old” and “new” friends on the short trip to the pizza party. The old friends are Marion and Bernd from Germany, whom we already met at the reservoir in March. You can hear Bernd as a Swabian right away and he is very helpful. We recognized him immediately when he was lying under the truck of another car to solve the technical problems professionally. 

The new friends, Martin and Sonja, are from Bavaria with their 43 years old truck, which is painted and fitted out in a non traditional way.  They are on a 4 weeks vacation right now before they dare to make the jump into permanent camp life. 

It was a very special experience, the best pizza, authentic Italian pizza with wafer-thin dough, little yeast, but a whole day program for making the dough. The first pizza of my life that didn’t lie in my stomach like a medicine ball. The motto is: all you can eat.

Gianluca prepared pizzas all the time: vegan, vegetarian, with fish and with meat. The pizzas got cut and everyone could access. It was a party and the weather was perfect. 

Dinner together before the portrait

On Wednesday, after the common lunch, Gianluca was “Portrait of the day for Face Europe”. While he had sat very still for the first 10 minutes, his Sicilian temperament suddenly broke through and it became a lively portrait of a very authentic conversation.

Face Europe No. 113-work in progress-Gianluca-after 60 min

It was already getting dusky when I made my way to the beach of Bordeira. Several mobile homes parked directly at the beach, small children built their sand castles right next to the car and a friendly and relaxed atmosphere could be felt. In absolute darkness I returned to our base at the pizzeria, slept very well and the next day we drove on to Barão de São João. A very narrow village at the end of our trip had to be passed through. Goff, our next Face Europe arrived punctually at the agreed place and we set up our equipment on the public stage in front of the cultural centre. It became a very authentic portrait, where I could follow Goff’s excellent English wonderfully, although he is Irish.

Fface Europe No. 114 Goff-after 80 min
Fface Europe No. 114 Goff-after 105 min

Goff has been travelling together with his son Daniel – each in his own van – for many years and through many countries and continents. Currently he is on his way to Morocco for about 6 weeks and on his further trips to Romania and Greece we might meet again. In the age of WhatsApp and roaming-free Europe we are growing closer and closer together and communication is getting easier and cheaper. We are very grateful for these options. 

We spent the night in the forest with a small fire and hot discussions about politics, society and community. It is a beautiful place in the forest, except for the twittering of birds and the buzzing of flies there is absolute silence. 

We continue our journey today to the next pizza party tonight at Gianluca and Emanuela’s and tomorrow Emanuela will be portrayed. 

Hopefully we will also find willing Portuguese people, that would be wonderful. 

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