The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
It is not a secret that travelling is a contagious thing, which opens wide door to the world. Firstly, travelling is the opportunity to know something new about other cultures, citizens of the country and, of course, to be closer to their traditions or even become a part of it.
Travelling is like a challenge, full of adventures in every corner in your way. Moreover, it is the priceless chance to learn about yourself, to know better who you are. Also, travelling is the opportunity to become more open person, more communicative, confident and, of course, more happy. If you are in a good mood then you can share happiness with everybody around you. Every person who you meet in your journey is like a gift. Firstly, you can learn a lot from them and teach new things as well. You live only once, but if you do it right – once is enough!
My obsession of journey started in Athens, in the capital of Greece. There I was studying at ‘National and Kapodistrian University’ for 5 months. It was 5 months of new experiences in my life, unforgettable journey full of adventures, new friends. I got valuable knowledge during studies and facing with casual lifestyle of Athens. Influenced by these things, after the stunning Greece I went to Turkey (Istanbul), Italy (Rome and Catania), Poland (Warsaw), Czech Republic (Prague) and Romania (Bucharest). I understood that travelling is the one thing in life, which enriches you every time to travel. After the trips you are never the same person, you become more positive and have wider view point of life.
This summer, I decided to take one more opportunity, which was offered by life. I took the challenge to do internship in Portugal by Erasmus+ programme. This time I wanted to discover more: mentality of Portuguese, to see the beautiful nature of this country, to get new experience during the intership, knowledge and meet new people in my life. Moreover, the final stop of my trip was not the capital of Portugal, but little-known town of Portugal – Viseu.
Viseu is the small city in the Centro Region of the Portugal. The astonishing thing is that Viseu is one of the largest cities in Europe without a railway connection. When I arrived here with my friend I did not expect that Viseu is so wonderful and stunning. There are a lot of friendly people, beautiful nature, next to each other spaced houses, museums, churches, cathedral, exclusive architecture and parks, where you can do sport, relax or even spend time with your friends. Moreover, older men are playing with cards and enjoying the time.
Also, people who are working with me at StudioBox (there I am doing an internship) are so nice and friendly, like everyone in Viseu. Moreover, you can not just to work, but to talk with them about everything, to make a joke and etc.
In general, Viseu is not so big city. If you want to reach some places, you can go by foot, do not need use any buses, to buy tickets. Also, the city has the main street, which is called Rossio de Viseu. This street leads to the heart of the city.
First of all, we (with me was my friend Simona) visited the city’s Se Cathedral and the church of Mercy, which is in front of the cathedral. Between them is the nice square, where you can find not just beautiful view, but also you can learn to dance bachata, salsa and latina dances. The lessons start in the evening. Everyone, who loves those dances should come to this square and to learn basic steps of these dances for free.
Moreover, in this square, if you will go near the church you can see the great panorama of Viseu. There is good place for couples, for everyone who likes panoramic view, wants to relax or just to admire the view – this place is perfect. I would like to add that this city has plenty of cute and nice places to go, all you need – to have motivation to discover.
Especially those who are interested in architecture must take a look of the interior of the cathedral. It is decorated with various sculptures and paintings. The cathedral was started to build in the 12th century. It combines a variety of styles, for example: Manueline, Renaissance and Gothic. The cloisters are small but contain treats such as the Romanic Gothic doorway and paintings of the life of St Theotonius which make me wonder what he got up to.
In addition, close to the cathedral is the Grao Vasco Museum, which is also worth a visit. The museum is named in honor of the world-renowned Portuguese artist, Vasco Fernandes. In the museum you can see the sculptures, religious monuments, paintings. Moreover, the museum has two parts, one of them is religiuos, and another one is modern.
In the first part of the museum you can see the oldest counters of Madeira, Portuguese stonewares, which were built in 17-18th century, religious jewelery, teapot of 1836-37. Also you can find a lot of religious sculptures. For example, S. Gabriel, Eneranda Martir, Santa Ursula, Santa Bona, S. Sebastiao. Museum has a lot of paintings of Joao Peralta, Vasco Fernandes e Francisco Henriques, Vasco Fernandes e Gaspar Vaz and others. All of them are eye catching.
In the second part of this museum, you will find modernizm. You will see mask of ogre and others strange things. Also, there is a lot of paintings of Helena Almeida, Jorge Queiroz, Avelino as, Alvaro Lapa. I would like to add, that this part of museum, is not for everyone, because person has to like art like this.
On the other side of cathedral is another small square, surounded with cafeterias and bars. The thing that surprised me, that this city has a lot of events. One of them is called Jardim Efemero, it is time when people can see the figures of flowers, which are spread out on the ground and remind Baroque style. In this square everyone can find transformation into a contemporary Baroque Garden. Plants transformed by topiary creates tunnels and passages through green balls, cones and spirals plant. In the middle of some green elements we found sculptures and vessels characteristic of the Baroque era, albeit in a reinvented form.
Moreover, in this square you can watch a movie through the big screen. Viseu centre is full of the people, especially in the evening. There they can drink something, enjoy nice cup of tea or espresso, they can dance or even, as I said before, watch a movie.
Actually, Viseu has not only beautiful squares in the centre, but the most important is the symbol of this city – Viriatus. If you want to reach this warrior, you have to use funicular. Using this funicular we can go down at the foot of the city. Without funicular it will be too difficult to go up, especially, for old people. Viriatus was the most important leader of the Lusitanian people that resistes Roman expansion into the regions of western Hispania or western Iberia, where the Roman province of Lusitania would be established. In general, it is nice when a small town has its own legend.
Moreover, one of the strangest things for me was the man, who is walking along the small streets with his bicycle. This man is not just a simple man, he is one who sharpens knives. For me it was new and funny thing, because there is no something similar in Lithuania.
By the way, when he is walking along the streets, he is whistling with fife and when he is playing with fife, people know that he is somewhere near their houses. Actually, the most important thing, that happenned to me in Viseu, is the meeting with Consul Jorge Antas de Barros. When I was walking around the streets of Viseu, I found the Lithuanian Consulate of Honorary, which is led by him. This Consulate is the first foreign Consulate of Honorary in the city.
I decided to talk with Consul about the Consulate, what they are doing, what about the plans in the future and etc. When we arranged the meeting, he was talking not just about the Consulate, but also about his life, responsibilities and jobs. Also he said, that this Consulate is more representative place, because in Viseu they do not have a lot of community of Lithuanian people. Actually, in all Portugal, there is just around 300 people of Lithuanians. In general, it was pleasure to talk with him, because like all Portuguese people, he is nice and communicative person.
Therefore, I am very excited and full of good emotions during the first week I am here, so many adventures were faced and many are waiting in the future. Undoubtedly, the city is enchanting, it is good to be here, not to rush and enjoy every single moment of life truly. I hope that the city will continue to entertain and encourage me to tap into a new journey and will leave footprints in my heart, as well will fill with nice memories my mind.
by Kristyna Kovalevska
Estagiária na empresa Studiobox ao abrigo do programa Erasmus+.