Friday, 29 September 2017

Portugal - An Engagement and a Christening

My daughter was proposed to a couple of months ago, and the couple thought it would be a great idea to get married in a civil ceremony in front of the whole family that would be visiting Portugal at this time for the Christening of our grandson. 

Unfortunately her French partner was unable to organize his paperwork in time, so instead they arranged an engagement party for the family and some friends.


The engagement party was  held on Saturday 26th August at the Quinta da Lontra where we were staying.
The owners were most gracious in allowing us to do a big get-together there for about 30 people, and we used the lounge/dining/kitchen pavilion area for that. It was perfect! 
I organized the cake and desserts - which were made by a friend that lives in the area, and my daughter organized the food and drinks. 
The party was a success and everyone helped with cleaning up and disposing of the rubbish and recycling generated, by taking it to bins in the village the following day.

You'll notice the cake says "engagement party #1". This is because Karina and Thomas intend to have 3 other parties with friends in Amsterdam (where they live), in Marseille (where his family and friends are, as well as they lived in nearby Martigues for a few years) and in Paris (where they met while working there and where they also have friends). 

The reason for the various parties is that they just plan on having a small close family only wedding next year, but at least they can celebrate with friends before.

Karina & Thomas engagement cake


The following day Sunday 27th, we all got dressed up and drove to Santa Comba Dao, about 25kms away where my grandson's baptism would take place. This town was the birthplace of Antonio Salazar, the dictator that ruled Portugal from 1932 to 1968. 
The ceremony was performed at the 18th century baroque church. I forgot to take photos  inside, but it's got an interesting painted ceiling and a beautiful carved wooden altar. 
On the stone wall bordering the church there are tiled murals, one of them depicting the house where Salazar was born.

Igreja Matriz Santa Comba Dao - main church of St Comba Dao and tiled panels

Baby J's Christening outfit

After the ceremony we drove back to Carregal do Sal, where the commemorative lunch was held at Casa do Zagao (rural accommodation and function rooms). 
It was a lovely lunch and family and guests enjoyed themselves.

Desserts Table
After lunch we raised a toast to baby J with a glass of bubbly while we ate a slice of his christening cake. 
Afterwards the obligatory photo session took place and here we have a photo with my side of the family (17 plus 2 babies) and a photo with my husband's side of the family (an extra 4 people).

My side of the family

My husband's side of the family
After the party was over and the caterers had removed everything some of us went for a drink at a cousin's house who lives in the area and my sister's and I decided to reproduce a photo of the 3 of us originally taken in 1972 (black & white photo). The next time we were together was in 2012 and now in 2017. 
Hopefully we will reunite again in the next couple of years and take another one.

The 3 sisters - 1972, 2012 and 2017
And sadly the 4 days soon came to an end and it was time to say goodbye to the family that was driving to Lisbon, as with the exception of my parents and middle sister and husband who live in Portugal, the others would be departing on the 29th to Johannesburg, San- Francisco and Luanda.

My husband and I, our daughter and partner were staying behind and driving to the northern city of Porto. Before leaving we drove to the hill next to the "Quinta" where we stayed. There was an oscillating rock (and yes, it rocked) and great views of the river below and we stayed a while breathing in all that beauty.

Oscillating rock, Mondego river views
Our former apartment building in Carregal do Sal
Before driving to Porto we stopped for a coffee and pastries at the Cafe below the apartment building where we lived for 10 years in Carregal do Sal, before we moved to Australia.

I was  happy to see the building had been repainted and was looking great.The Cafe esplanade is also new. Our duplex apartment was on the second floor on the right side above the Cafe. Good memories...                                                                                                                                                                                                         
See you in Porto next time!


  1. Dearest Sami,
    What a great way to celebrate with the complete family!
    Sad that the paperwork from France did not become ready in time...
    But at least the family got to celebrate their engagement.
    Beautiful Baroque Church and you did remind me of my recollection of history for Portugal. It was so often in the news when I was a girl and a teenager. Amazing that this happened to be the 100th Prime Minister... Sad such a dictatorship!
    But aside from that part of history you opted for wonderful locations.
    Love the christening outfit of the cute little grandson!
    Your version of apartment looks a bit like ours in Italy where we lived but one year, with also Bar Belvedere below us for coffee and such. Fond memories no doubt and pleasant to see it is looking good.
    Thank you for sharing this part of your lives.
    Hugs and happy weekend.

    1. Thank you Mariette. The dictatorship in Portugal was sad but to be truthful he did put the country in a good financial position. As for our former apartment, we were lucky that in small towns we didn't have highrises, there were only 8 apartments in the buildings which was great. Have a great weekend too.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing these special moments with us.

    Uma família espalhada em quase todos os continentes! :)


    1. Thanks Catarina. The only continent where we don't have family (at the moment) is Asia.:)

  3. Santa Comba Dão é a terra do meu pai.
    Felicidades para os noivos.

    1. O mundo é mesmo pequeno Pedro. Os meus pais são de Carregal do Sal. Obrigada Pedro.

  4. This is wonderful. I have to admit, your family knows how to put on a spread. Two, in fact. It was great to see you having so much fun with your family, and those three sister photos were simply incredible.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, they were 2 great parties indeed.

  5. Replies
    1. Muito bom Francisco. Obrigada e bom fim de semana.

  6. Que belas mem√≥rias familiares! Foi mesmo pena o desencontro, mas numa pr√≥xima combinamos melhor, com respectivos n√ļmeros de aparelhos telef√≥nicos para facilitar :-) (O bolo de noivado √© lindissimo)

    1. Foi pena Paula fica para o ano. O bolo foi feito a partir duma foto que vi no Pinterest. As letras só diziam "Love" mas visto o casal ser português e francês, pedi à minha amiga que também escrevesse "amour" e "amor".

  7. That´s a truly lovely and great idea to celebrate the engagement with everyone and just have a small wedding - clever! Oh, and congrats, too!

    Those tiled panels are very beautiful.
    And the waistcoat, awww, cute! As are the retakes of you sisters.
    That rock reminds me of the Devil´s Marbles!
    Oh. Did you get a bit homesick to revisit your old home?
    On to Porto!

    1. Thanks Iris. The little outfit was cute :) Not really, I enjoyed seeing the building was looking good, and loved everything about our holiday but still felt at home when we got back.

  8. I look forward to seeing Porto. We loved it.

    1. I also enjoyed it Andrew, it had been probably 15 years since I had last visited Porto and found a big improvement!

  9. Fantastic family times, such a treat to be all together like this. You sure did a lot of cake/pastry eating Sami ūüėÄ

    1. I couldn't help it Grace ūüėÄ, Portugal has such great pastries.

  10. I must say, thank you so much for sharing these very special moments with us here on your blog.
    Just lovely :)

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan, it was a wonderful time, worthy of being shared and preserved.

  11. I'm all in favour of three parties for the engagement, in fact lots of parties generally, with the possible exception of getting married three times! Looks a fabulous party, love the idea of recreating your sisters photos!
    Happy hols.
    Wren x

    1. Thanks Wren. I agree, not 3 weddings! I hope my sister's and I will be able to recreate these photos more often.


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