The view from a nearby village
So much has changed since our last post in May 2021. At that point we had no idea we would be moving out of Porto, but looking back things were already headed that way. Now we live in the Miranda do Corvo region (south of Coimbra) up on a mountain. How's that for a change?
So many cranes
Buy a house? No way. When we moved from the States we were happy to dwell in an apartment. No yard work, no exterior maintenance. no big space to clean. Of course, with apartments comes additional noise from your neighbors, and in the case of Porto, construction sites and cranes. From the windows of our first apartment we once counted eleven of them.
When we moved into our apartment in the Cedofeita area of Porto we were blissfully crane (and construction noise) free. Didn't last. The old palacete next to us had a lovely garden full of trees, birds, bats and owls. In the evening the bats would come out and we loved watched them zoom around.
The construction crews came in and leveled almost all of the trees and began sinking footings for a hotel and a shopping center (groan). Then came TWO cranes (there were already two others in the distance as you can see from the photo above). Work began at 7:30 and went until 6 most evenings. After all the chain sawing and loading of logs was done, then came even more vehicle noise, shouting back and forth, that sort of thing. In the end we had seven construction sites within a very large city block of us. It got kinda crazy.
While we were happy people had work, especially in the middle of the pandemic, the noise and dust finally pushed us out of our apartment. By sheer chance our friends from Georgia had just bought a house in the Miranda do Corvo area and invited us down to visit.
Rural Portugal has glorious sunsets
First thing -- this area of Portugal is gorgeous. Villages, farms, smaller towns, less traffic. The difference in the noise level of a big city and rural Portugal is astounding. So astounding we started looking for houses in the area. The second one we visited we really liked and so we put in an offer. In August. Not a good plan.
Nothing in Portugal moves quickly, especially if you start something in the month when most Portuguese go on vacation. It took 3 months to buy the house. When we put in our notice to vacate the apartment (we needed to give our landlord four months) we thought that was a very long time. Luckily we had those one hundred twenty days because we used all but two weeks of it. We'll share with you some of the things we learned along the way in a future post. Definitely an experience.
Moving Day in Porto
I'll be writing more about what it's like to make the transition from a city to the Portuguese countryside. Because we once lived on a farm in Iowa, we feel we've come full circle. In the meanwhile, that's what's been happening with us. Another adventure in a life full of them. And this one even has goats and Guinea hens next door.
Harold is a former software engineer. Jana is an author. Together they're exploring their new life in Portugal.