Saturday, 2 October 2010

Saturday Photo: Where Vasco da Gama Set Sail

Well, actually the Torre de Bélem didn't exist in July 1498 when the great Portuguese explorer left for India. It was built later as part of the fortifications guarding the entrance to the River Tagus and to Lisbon.

But the Praia das Lagrimas, the Shore of Sorrows, is just steps away. The great Portuguese poet Luís Vaz de Camões memorialized da Gama's departure in his epic The Lusiads, and gave the name to othis stretch of shore where thousands of Portuguese set sail toward an unknown future over a period of several hundred years.

I took the picture when I was in Portugal 18 months ago, and I have beside me on my work table the final proofs of my book Making Waves: The Continuing Portuguese Adventure. My editor Simon Dardick says it will go to the printer next Wednesday, and the first copies will be in my hands in three weeks--ready for another adventure!

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