Sunday, 3 November 2019

Figueira - day 8.

We have a routine when Phil is playing chess here in Figueira da Foz. We arrive at the venue, he goes off to set up his things at his table and perhaps introduce himself to his opponent. Meanwhile, his assistant -i.e. yours truly - goes to the bar and asks the bemused waiter to fill the flask up with white coffee. For most of the years we have been coming here this flask-filling has gone on in the bar on the first floor. This year on the first day I was told that this bar was no onger operating and I should go to the bar on the ground floor. Okay!

So this morning, final round, we arrived. Phil went off. I went to the bar. Only to be told that I should go to the first floor as they had run out on the ground floor. Really!! In a huge, fancy hotel? (This “running out”, by the way, must be endemic, the other evening we asked for two draft beers in the hotel where we have been staying. They had run out but could get some from their restaurant, just across the other side of the carpark!) So up the stairs I went. The bar was closed. Back at reception on the ground floor, the person who had sent me upstairs in the first place explained that I had to go the breakfast room, which I duly did.

After a while someone came to help me out and filled the flask. What was my room number, she asked me. Upon which I had to explain that I am not a guest at this hotel, etc. etc. The whole story had to be related and then we had to go to the bar so that she could open the till and taken payment for the coffee. I did not have quite enough small change and offered a €10 note, whereupon she had to go and find change. Play had been going for about 15 minutes by the time Phil received his coffee!! What a palaver!

Today’s last round game is a morning game, allowing time for the prize-giving later this afternoon. It is also the first morning when the weather has encouraged me to walk out to the lighthouse. It’s a good walk but not in the rain and fog. The sun is shining today and the sky is blue. The wind is a bit fierce but not quite meriting the comment from one chap,out walking: “parece o inverno” - it’s like winter! So I walked along the boardwalks on the beach and eventually onto the causeway leasing out to the lighthouse.

It’s a good job I had my hat as the spray was amazing!

Fishermen were out in droves. Does everyone have fish for lunch on a Sunday around here.

The waves were really rolling in, carving great sculptures in the sand. Masses of people were videoing the spectacle. It’s very hard to catch the full effect in a photo.

The lighthouse itself is quite small but still looks good as the waves break behind it.

As I walked back I snapped Ingenhiero Silva’s castle, which for me will forever be Rapunzel’s castle. Work is going on at the building next door which has been gutted, leaving only the facade standing, just like in the bit of renovation work I saw earlier in the week.

Finally I went to have a look at the Figueira da Foz, the eponymous Fig Tree of the Estuary, just to check it was still there. It was! But it looked as if some radical pruning has taken place. Smaller than I remembered but still nearing some fruit. And it now sports a little stone plaque telling people what it is!

Photos of all of this as soon as I can master the technology!

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