It was a great surprise to me!
Living in a small village, where (supposedly) everybody knows each other, I was one of the dozens that fought the war in Africa, with the idea that our community was spared, and no one got killed.
It was a surprise to see, facing the cemetery, a simple monument remembering nor less than 4 neighbours killed in the war.
Justo Couto, Silvestre Silva, Vitorino Simão, and Manuel Lopes, this one, most lightly, one of my distant cousins, were the victims.
For all of them, my respect.
Right in the centre of town stands this modest chapel built in 1762. It still keeps some tiles representing Sainte Veronica, but the hospital was closed long ago.
Recent construction around it didn't respect the building, that has been almost swallowed by the greed of mass construction. I lived there for many years, and, believe me, moving away was the best idea, not only because I got free from the flea market that happens each Sunday in the street, but I only need to write "R. Luisa" in my address, instead of "Rua do Senhor Jesus do Hospital nº X". Uff!
My friend Avelino is a citizen of the world, whose hobby is... making friends. After many years in USA, he returned home, surrounded by tons of... everything. So much stuff that he decided to share it, building next to his house a sort of museum.
Unpredictable, and always moving around, the works stop and go, but he couldn't wait for long and many things are already in display, in a messy but funny "parade".
It's by the road to Alcobaça, so you just need to stop and smile
Don't dare to stop for a longtime, or you risk to get... a new friend.
Forgive me if I insist on my uncle's wooden carving, displayed in the Ethnographic Museum, but I have to make justice to his sense of humor and manual skills.
Though hardly concentrated in only two displays, some of the pieces are really fun
The museum has moved to a more suitable building, fifty meters distant, and the new exhibition is a little better.
"Relego" was the name of a tax paid in the historic days to the monks of Alcobaça, who owned all the surrounded area, including Turquel.
Relego is now the name is the highest hill of Turquel, maybe because it was the place where the tax was collected, and it is one of the most preserved area of this quickly changing small town. Till when?
In the way up to the Natural Park, from Turquel, you pass close to a small chapel. It's an indistinctive building, standing as a landmark of the locals religiosity, that made some popular people build it, away from everything, almost lost in the mountain.
Once a year there's a popular celebration in the chapel, and I think that it is all. One interesting thing to notice is that the chapel was made in the beginning of the 20th century and rebuilt in the forties, when school was still a luxury only available for some Portuguese.
The inscription above the door keeps the memory of those time. To understand what I mean you would have to know some Portuguese, at least what is a "Qumição"(they meant "Comissão")
The Natural Park of Serra de Aire e Candeeiros is a reserve for wildlife and flora, but these days, the landscape is changing.
The "talefe" is a geodesic construction that marks the highest point of the mountain of Candeeiros.
In my youth one of our bigger challenges was to walk up to the mountain, and climb to the talefe. Deep changes turned the highest point into a midget.
Will it still motivate the youngsters?
Included in the Natural Park of Aire and Candeeiros, this mountain is a wild area, excellent for trekking and watching natural life and geologic formations.
The sights are awesome, and, from caves to dinosaur trails there's a lot to see and to do far from the crowds rushes.
My neighbor has sheep. Nothing unusual. He also has dogs, but, I think he only uses them to hunt and guard the house.
So, who guarded the sheep?
Looking closer, today, I noticed that it was a... eagle. At least, she was there, carefully looking at the animals. As a matter of fact I don't know if it was guarding or seizing them, maybe thinking they were a little big to swallow. I'll see it better next days and let you know.
It seems that a couple of cats are now helping the eagle. What a confusion!
For a second time the Portuguese Government decided to call Portuguese voters for the sensitive issue of legalizing abortion on February 11, 2007. The first referendum was in 1998.
Despite it is considered a crime in Portugal, there are no women currently in jail for violating the law, although some have been convicted and either had their sentences suspended or are appealing the ruling against them. (quote from an international media).
The question put was the same as in 1998:
"Do you agree with decriminalising abortion when requested by women, up to 10 weeks into pregnancy, and performed in an authorised clinic?"
Referendum results - in Turquel:
Yes - 35%
No - 65%
52 percent of eligible voters went to the poll.
Referendum results - in Portugal:
Yes - 59%
No - 41%
only 44 percent of eligible voters went to the polls.
A small lagoon gives the name to this area of Turquel.
The lagoon is no more than a big pond, but, with some care by the neighbours, it presents clear water where we may see some big fishes.