Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 13



All through a most enjoyable and informative Euromeeting in Portugal, I would see on the TV Screens in Hotels Pubs, the heading 'highlights of the game' the game being football. So I am adopting this method to relate the 'highlights of my visit to Portugal'.
The Hotel Montechoro did well to cater for so many of us. Many churches were on the agenda, but the highlight for me was the one dedicated to St.Lawrence of Almancil. It was claimed he was like my country's Robin Hood, who robbed from the rich to give to the poor. Unlike our Robin who took to Sherwood Forest for sanctuary, St. Lawrence was sentenced by the the Roman Governor to be Grilled. yes literally grilled, and in agony requested that he be turned over and done on both sides. I did not know whether this was tongue in cheek or serious. Another highlight for me was the various markets we visited in Olhai,  Tavira, cacelha and . Olhai being the biggest fishing port in the Algarve, gave us free time to enjoy watching the assortment of fishes (not always seen in UK). Castro Marim a bastion on the border with Spain next to the Guadiana River and its bridge. The flamingos and storks made the nature reserve most colourful and peaceful. A place that looked similar to UK,s extremes - Cape Wrath in tip of Scotland, and Lands End at bottom of England was Cape of Saint Vincent with it's rugged scenery and violent sea. Sagres the small village rising up so isolated and exposed to the Atlantic. All made me think of home. There were many more unforgettable Highlights- visit to Faro, Silves and Cavoeiro. I thought Vilamoura was beautiful, but wondered how many of the luxory yachts ever see the Atlantic. The cafe at Vilamoura  where I enjoyed a glass of beer with my husband Alastair who was utterly fascinated by the dedication to sport. Would you believe, they had two wide screens with football matches live, a golf tournament also live, rugby from Australia live, it was difficult to know to what screen we should look at, especially my husband who follows football, rugby and golf avidly. 
I could go on forever about the churches, markets (where I bought candied Almonds to die for) and the fun getting to those places despite the rain. Talking of rain, the wonderful umbrellas given as a gift were much in use. My husband solved the problem of getting them home on our flights, as they did not fit in our case, and the Hotel very kindly let him use a hacksaw to cut off the handle. Being a Consultant Engineer, my husband has the said brollies back in use with the handles in tact. The Hotel Manager at Montechoro said it was a first being asked for a hacksaw.
To conclude, I feel very honoured to now be a Vice President, and I still feel the best part of the whole trip is the friendliness of members of other Countries in Europe. As Scotlands honourable Poet, Rabbie Burns said 'We are a' Jock Thampson's Bairns' How true. This was shown by the guest speaker at the General Assembly. Top marks for yet another enjoyable meeting of us Money People.
Look forward to 2009 Jose.

Arline Easson
UK Vice President.