Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bom Jesus isn't the only thing in Braga

Hello, everyone.

We took a bonus day at Barcelos, because it's near the famous site of Bom Jesus Chapel in Braga. When the sun peeped over the horizon this morning we tried to sleep in. We made it to about 7 before getting up.

The bus to Brava stops right at the square in Barcelos, and we just jumped on, paid the driver, and relaxed for the hour drive. We arrived in Brava at 9 and discovered the town square festooned with banners and other decorations. "Oh, that's right, the whole country is having a weeks-long party for St. John's day." Then we heard a strong marching cadence strike up. (Very heavy on the bass drums!) Boom! (Pause) Boom! (Pause) Boom! (Pause) and the drum corps was off and going. We had arrived just before the Marchas de Sao Joao.

I think there were at least 7 drum groups and bands, plus giant puppets and another 8 or more folkloric groups. All wending their way through tiny stone medieval streets in the town center. A number of the drum groups revved up and got going again from time to time during the day, too.

We had heard the (smaller) parade the day before yesterday in Vila do Conde.

DH went outside and snapped this in Vila do Conde while I was washing socks.

This morning in Braga:

After the parade finished, we caught the city bus out to Bom Jesus which is at the very edge of Braga on a hill. The stone work and sculptures are amazing.

This was the half-way point, after the Way of the Cross themed works and before the allegorical works. At the very top is a chapel and a garden and a gift shop.