A Ferris wheel by the water in front of the Baía Hotel

Letter from Cascais – Christmas by the bay

On December 1, Portugal celebrated the “Restoration of Independence”. The day commemorates the end of Spanish rule of the country from 1580 to 1640, which resulted from the royal crisis of the 16th century.

In our present circumstances, “independence” and “sovereignty” are terms, which – while still valid – have become relative for many of us. Our lives continue to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The virus does not recognise “independence”, it knows no international boundaries, no political divisions, no geographic divides. It does not distinguish between those in government and the governed, between the affluent and the poor. Everyone is vulnerable.

Here in Cascais, Christmas trees and other ornaments decorate and illuminate public spaces. A Ferris wheel by the water in front of the Baía Hotel offers rides.

Perhaps the decorations and the lights are needed more than ever to give us all hope for the future.

My wife and I wish our friends here and around the world all the best for an enjoyable Christmas, a safe holiday and a better and healthy New Year.

Jurgen H. Racherbaumer