Vacation Journal: Entry #10
This is the Farol de Aveiro (Lighthouse of Aveiro). Of course, if you ask anyone here they will immediately say, “To hell with Aveiro! That’s the Lighthouse of Ílhavo!” Which is another way of saying that despite all the exclamations of national pride, despite even an attempt at continental unity, Europe will forever be a loose amalgamation of individual cities, each quick to point out that the next town over is where they keep all the idiots.
As for the Farol de Aveiro/Ílhavo, according to most accounts it is the second largest lighthouse in Europe, the 19th largest in the world, and the western-most on the continent. Over the years I have taken countless photos of it, but the reason I selected this particular picture is because at this famous emblem of one nation’s rich maritime history, this still-standing symbol of one people’s remarkable age of exploration, if you look at the very bottom center you will see that someone has hung a line of clothes out to dry.
There is an elderly Portuguese man in town that stands on one corner all morning. Then he appears on another nearby corner all mid-afternoon. Then he appears on yet another nearby corner from mid-afternoon to evening. One explanation is that he wants to get fresh air but wishes to avoid the sun and so keeps moving. Another explanation is that he has perfected teleportation but can only travel short distances because it’s hard on the knees.