Robert Steur

April 4, 2019 6:40 am


A bones warehouse. Why, no problem. After all, they were raised with it. Whole Mediterranean tribes do not know better. Eating them with head, tail, skin and all. Nothing in it for me.

They are top of the bill. Those (canned) sardines. Preserved for almost 200 years. According to a website full of facts about this litte fish.


In the nineteenth century they were already a delicacy. Nowadays suitable as a souvenir, I saw. Presented in specially designed luxury stores.

At eye level in sight. Flapping storks on remnants of the walls. From a ruin that is in their possession. Snowbirds lazing in this domain. Thanks to the mild Portuguese climate in Silves. Reason for postponed departure to Africa.

You see nests all around us. Up to the mouth of the river Arade. Storks on the chimneys of former fish factories. At the time, sardines were canned.


The sardinha, Portugal's pride. Like bacalhau. Symbols of the national food culture. Sardines can be found everywhere on the menu. Even to smell in the streets. From any village.

Once residents traditionally put their fish on the barbecue. With which the air of it immediately spreads. With an aroma that is so typical of this country.

The steep ascending stairs. Pay attention with the placement of your foot. On the bumpy uneven stairs. Upstairs for a better view. Over the roofs to the green valley from the 'castelo'.


Spring reigns in the silence of Vale Navio. Interrupted by the wind. He whispers through the pine trees. A dog is barking far away. Nature shows itself in springtime decoration. Decked out with the most exuberant yellow.

Entering that new coffee shop annex supermarket. With that funny name choice. 'Favorita', run by two friendly young ladies. One of them apparently exercises.

Whether she already speaks the English language. She tries it out on every foreign customer. Combination benefit is the promotion. Written with chalk on mini-schoolboards. Tosta Mista + Bebida + Café for € 2.90.


You can find them at that stylish store. Preserved fish in the most colorful packaging. From the most bright pictures to historical images. Some cans with 'azulejos' printed on them. Tile prints purely for the beauty. Certainly not to open.

Very popular with real collectors. Or buy one with an everyday motive. To brighten up the kitchen. Anyway, Portugal and fish are synonymous. Canned or not. A two-unit without a doubt.

A large question mark appears. On the face of the Portuguese. As soon as Marion asks for 'white coffee'. Responding to the learning moment of the waitress. She gestures for a moment. She is back a little later. With the English translation.

Showing the screen of her mobile. Smiling widely. An additional payment is required for coffee with milk. Thus GoogleTranslate answers. Contemporary digital technology stands for nothing.


I read it while passing. Printed on the side of a delivery van. Accepted with a smile. That catchy slogan. Only it did not make any sense, according to me. That meant link with household appliances. It seemed too much for me.

Initially, the advertising message failed me in the end. This was of course not intended. From that supplier in televisions and white goods. A kind of Expert, MediaMarkt or Coolblue. The Portuguese version of them, of course.

"Viver melhor costa menos". Entirely right, it’s just like that, I thought. No word of French. Exactly as I experience the Portuguese life. Better and cheaper.

Incomparable with sardines or bacalhau. Let alone with white coffee or electronics. And above all, not to forget. That fairytale-like, pure nature. Quite huge, great.

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