I can hear the roaring of the sea. Nature makes itself known, even in my room. The waves are ever present. Their sound reflects itself in my very own thoughts. The repetitive coming and going; an endless cycle.
You can’t lock yourself away from the wildness, the untamed.
Maybe that’s why so many Germans travel to Carrapateira in Portugal. Escaping an industrialised country, best known for its effectiveness.
Every morning I am on the cliffs, walking. The wind as well as the sun are in my face and I feel free. I pass the posh campervans and after that the second rate ones with the surfer-hippy-dudes. Their wetsuits are spread all over their vehicles. And than, there is only a dusty road. It consists of uneven dry earth with stones, transforming into powder, as soon as someone drives along.
Speaking of which, it is amazing how many of them exist here. They seem like an elaborate labyrinth, tucked away from the main roads. Only the adventurer explore them. The ones, who aren’t afraid to reck their rental cars…
Yesterday I drove one of those with a friend of mine, Anna, who lives close to Aljezur. I don’t fancy to get lost on my own.
Still, off the beaten track, you come across amazing things. Anna and me found a forelorn house on the cliffs, rotting away, a hidden beach, that seems to be a secret spot for the surfers and last but not least stunningly steep cliffs.
It would be easy to do a Thelma & Louise here. Just drive over the edge. That’s it.
In private I wonder whether there are still dust roads to be found in Germany. I don’t think so.
My home country seems too civilised for such unforseeable chaos. Who wants to potentially reck their own car!
The question I have is: ‘Are there actually any Germans left in Germany?’
And I am not talking about any refugee crisis or something. Far from it, I am talking about Germans having left their own country.
I believe they all have escaped to the Algarve. And I know for a fact, the ones, who aren’t in Portugal, have gone to Cornwall…
Seriously, when we had lunch yesterday, the whole courtyard was full with Germans. How bizarre, to hear your own language instead of Portuguese from around every corner.
Is this the new normal?
On today’s morning walk, I passed a young, cool guy with a long beard and short hair. How could this ever become fashionable! Well, what do I know, I am not a millenial. Back to the long beard-short-hair surfer dude. He was jumping from one timber pile to the next, while chatting on his mobile. Of course he was German, telling his friend a thing only Germans can! It’s a stupid saying, the Swabians define themselves by.
It goes like this: ‘ Work, work, built houses.’
In German it rimes and sounds more obnoxious:
‘Schaffe, schaffe, Häusle baue.’
My judgmental self is thinking the following:
‘So, you’re having a great time in sunny Portugal, while telling your friend at home to work!’
What’s wrong with you! I am hoping it’s a joke, I really am. Otherwise…
Yesterday, my friend Anna, the one who was on the cliffs with me, took me along to do some pottery in the middle of nowhere. Of course Anna is German too. She lives in the Algarve since over thirty years and her meanwhile grown up daughter behaves more Portuguese than German.
The pottery house is concealed like a sleeping beauty, dormant in the hills. You have to take a right turn on the road from Aljezur to Monchique. After that, it’s a windy dust path-road with many turns. One potentially could lose oneself forever. This is my second time Anna has taken me along and I still wouldn’t be able to find it again. No chance!
It’s a beautiful place with a gorgeous view of the surrounding hills. I pray there never will be fire in this area. Because there’s no chance to escape. You’d be locked in.
This is Zoe’s home. She is not only a fellow German, but also a potter. Her neighbour Wolfgang, guess where from, sits in a weelchair. He did a header in one of the rivers here. Zoe cares for him. He refuses to go back to Germany.
There’s another landsman living in a house a little bit lower down. He built it himself and it reminds me of the story of Hensel and Gretel… He grows his own vegetables, has a child with a much younger woman and most importantly he doesn’t own a car. Without transport? Here? You are joking!
Each time I go to the market in Aljezur, a dutch woman serves me, speaking fluent German. Naturally!
This is an impossible place to learn Portuguese I tell myself. I am proabably better off to learn it in Ireland…
It’s a funny world here in the Algarve!
The thing is, now I am beginning to wonder whom I am going to meet when I soon fly to Germany. Since all my fellow landsmen seem to have left the country.
Will I find Aliens instead?