Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Last day in Porto and a family Celebration!!!

Much of this week has been spent working….Michael spent Tuesday in Porto speaking at the University and meeting with researchers there and then spent Wednesday in Lisbon doing the same.  I have enjoyed the technology available and was able to accomplish a number of client tasks, including a 2 hour Skype phone call.

I tried each day to take a walk along the beach.  There had been several strong storms in the area and the choppy seas were proof of that.   I found it mesmerizing to sit and watch as they crashed along the rocks…..

Ocean Wave Video

One of the days we climbed out on the observation tower…..IMG_5929

….and also walked along one of the points, enjoying photographing some of the fishermen dropping their lines in the ocean…..IMG_5947

On one of the walks, I found Igreja Nossa Senhora Da Lapa, a quiet little church…..DSC07779

….and found that the adjoining town (Pavoa de Varzim) has a Casiino and a beautiful swimming beach, complete with Cabana frames ready for the canvas to be attached before the tourist season gets started….DSC07793

Thursday was a National holiday although we never knew exactly what holiday it was.   People were walking all along the sea wall with a few venturing into the sand.  Michael I spent it taking a long walk and enjoying catching up on our favorite shows on CBS All Access!!!

On Friday I made one last foray into Porto with the intention of visiting two museums…..Museu Serralves (a contemporary art museum) and National Museum Soares dos Reis (a museum of the Arts an Crafts of Portugal). 

The modern art museum only had three exhibits and I was very disappointed in two of the three, one of which was simply a room with a Lego game board….


….and the other made up of several projects featuring light displays.   I did like the trees in this darkened room…..


….but didn’t understand these lights so much…..


I did enjoy the Giorgio Griffa exhibit.  He works on un-stretched canvas and employs minimalist simplicity.  His work reminded me of  the “Modern Quilt Movement” and I enjoyed the space that would allow for copious quilting!!IMG_5971



The number 1.618033988749 appeared over and over in his works and I asked one of the Docents about this.  He patiently explained that it is the atomic weight of Gold which is considered to be the “perfect” metal!!

I also loved this quote….


….”When a beautiful rose dies, beauty does not die because it is not really in the rose.  Beauty is an awareness in the mind” – Agnes Martin

I did find three pieces that I loved……


They were located in the hall by the stairwell!!

There was also a large park that had works of art in it, but I simply couldn’t be bothered walking to find them.

I headed to the next museum and happily enjoyed the various galleries.  The first piece that I saw was this “tongue-in-cheek” statue that, upon closer inspection, was made out of Duct Tape…..


I didn’t completely understand the statue, with the horse having a peg-leg and the flag pole holding a pair of underwear!!!

I enjoyed the patterns in this vase…..


….and this plate seemed to choose an unfortunate model….


There was an oil gallery with several paintings that called to me. 

This one is a self-portrait and I could just see the artist looking in the mirror as he painted…..


These Sheaf gatherer’s also caught my attention…..


My favorites were this set of 6 scenes…..


The most amazing thing was the detail in the skin on a statue of a small boy….enlarge the photo so that you can see it…..IMG_6014

When I left the museum, I wandered down toward the river, stopping at the tower attached to the Clériigos Church…..


I had wanted to climb this tower previously and this was my opportunity.  The stairwell was tiny and steep…..


….and you had to stop and wait in the corners for people coming from the opposite direction.

I loved passing the bells and wished that they would ring while I was up on top…..


The views from the top were excellent….


I continued downward to the Ribeira area, enjoying a few minutes looking at the houses (I’m thinking of quilt ideas)…..


….and watching the ever growing crowd….


I slowly made my way back up to the Metro station, enjoying every sight and sound of the city and knowing that it was probably my last time in the city.

On Friday evening, we were invited to Paulo and Paula’s home for the 22nd birthday of their daughter, Beatrice.  We arrived to find a table filled with food and a smiling Birthday Girl…..


The Family began arriving a few moments later and soon the apartment was filled with Aunts, Cousins, Nephews, Brothers, Grandparents and all the rest.  It was a wonderful gathering…..


….and we were very happy to be included as “one of the family”.

3 thoughts on “Last day in Porto and a family Celebration!!!

  1. Well, you see, the underwater on the flagpole represents the human condition–a state of frequent embarrassment. The horse's peg leg symbolizes how our progress as individuals is hampered by the airing of dirty laundry for all to see. The duct tape symbolizes the fact that this human condition is one of falling apart (hence the parts of random stuff on the back of the horse), and is only held together artificially.I wonder why no one ever wants to go to art museums with me.

  2. Duct tape? I liked the 6 scenes, the bell tower and stairs and all those houses stacked and side by side! thanks!!!

  3. Such a variation in sights to be able to see. I know we don't always understand the displays but it is still fascinating to see what there is on offer. How lovely to be included in the birthday celebrations.

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