Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Vimiero Battlefield

On 2 September 1994 Jan and I spent an afternoon walking around the battlefield of Vimiero. I remember it as being a lovely warm summer afternoon, and writing up the visit and looking at the photographs brought it all back .

There is a large monument which dominates the village, so I imagine that they must have quite a few visitors. But as we walked around the deserted village that was hard to believe. And they were obviously not used to English speaking visitors in the small cafe where we had a light snack.

Our pathetic attempts to order a snack was our first experience of trying to communciate without a word of Portuguese, and made us realise how difficult it was going to be. Obviously the hotels would not be a problem, because the receptionists all spoke excellent English. But we were now well off the tourist beat, and during the day we would be lucky if there was anywhere to get a coffee, let alone a menu in English. Fortunately we had planned to have picnics on the battlefield each day, and if necessary we could buy a snack at a petrol station travelling from one battlefield to the next.

Some of our happiest memories of this holiday were our contacts with various locals, who all proved to be extremely patient and helpful despite having very little idea of what we were talking about!

You can read about the visit by clicking on Walking Napoleonic Battlefields on the right.

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