Ending up in a Portuguese hospital...

May 25, 2018

In a Portuguese hospital


Over 3000 km in two weeks were behind us, sitting in the caravan in same position and nearly no breaks to relax. In consequence, Ivan had so much back pains that he couldn't move anymore!! We had to find a hospital and headed to the next city, which was Braga! It was luck in bad luck finding out that in Braga was the best hospital in whole Portugal! Great building, the floor was clean, the doctors handsome, well dressed and friendly, but the treatment wasn't so exceptional...

 

After three hours of waiting with a crowd of patients of all ages, Ivan hobbled to the doctor's room. The elderly doctor only spoke Portuguese, so the communication was a bit limited and Ivan obeyed on the signs that he showed him... Bending down, moving to the sides, laying on the stretcher. And before he could understand what's going on or decide on his own whether he would like an injection: well, it was already injected into his...

 

the famous SEMANA SANTA!

 

To be honest, neither we had heard of Braga before, neither we had known that it was the famous Semana Santa and Braga was THE place in Portugal that attracts many pilgrims for this Christian highlight of the year. So, it was finally a good coincidence that we had to stop here, and Ivan's back was getting better and better, due to the "holy week" or injection, who knows...

Assisting to this sunday before easter in the center of Braga was very special and interesting to see! Thousands of inhabitants and pilgrims met in the historical center of the city to celebrate and watch the procession. They were standing on the boarder of the narrow alleys making way in the middle for the passing groups of musicians, monks, priests and statues. Everybody in traditional and festive costumes showing and celebrating the same Christian customs since generations. And there is a special tradition in Portugal and Spain during Semana Santa that is very impressing and powerful: strong men carry heavy floats with statues on them so that even they feel the pain after the duration of several hours. These floats can be of a weight of 4 tons(?), carried by a huge number of barefoot men, like in the most famous processions of Sevilla!

To live the full experience of this Christian highlight of the year, we needed of course to try the traditional Easter sweets that were sold in the cafes during the semana santa. The Portuguese bakerman explained us the background of these "dulces de semana santa", Anis bread, cinnemon bread and of course beautiful made chocolate creations...

 

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