Cricket, old cars, National Portuguese Museum – the day of dicoveries

20150718_161353When I started this blog, I thought I would need to be attentive to the events in my life so that I will have topics to cover. Now I have another problem – I have too much to cover. I don’t know what happened – whether I started paying attention to what is going on around me, or I became more active, – I don’t know. The only thing I know is – I have a lot to write about and I love it!

Today’s source of inspiration and discoveries was this woman – Zoia Skoropadenko. We met 3 years ago in Belgium and now we met again in Porto and spent a great day together. Zoia is a famous artist whose works are exhibited in Monaco, France, the UK, Japan, China and other places in the world. Hopefully, there will be one in Portugal very soon! She knows a lot about art and is simple about the life itself. She brought this creative simplicity into the day, so the time passed fast, yet very efficiently. At the end of the day I felt like there were two days in one and it was already Sunday…

We started our day in the Porto Cricket and lawn tennis Club with a cup of strong Portuguese coffee and a good conversation about the last 3 years we haven’t met. We laughed a lot and cheered for a Portuguese/English team that was playing cricket on the field. I didn’t know what cricket was, what were the rules and it was very exciting to see it live and actually cheer for people I knew who were playing on the field. We discussed our business ideas, art, different countries and cultures, men (of course, how can we live without discussing them!) and sports. Then we moved to lunch and after having a good Portuguese meal decided to check the National museum of art Soares dos Reis. I haven’t been to this museum for a couple of years and it was nice to go there with the specialist in art.

On the way to the museum we were passing by the Gardens of the Crystal Palace. As some of you know the Crystal Palace was demolished in the 1951 to give a way to the sport arena that now can be seen in the middle of the beautiful garden. Well, my favorite place is actually the Garden with its trees, flowers, peacocks and breathtaking views over the river Douro, the ocean and the old towns of Porto and Vila nova de Gaia.

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Today though there was an exhibition of old cars. Well, I’d say Portuguese people love old cars, they take care of them, they show them off on different fairs several times a year and they are so proud of having them. It’s visible on those fairs when you see the owners demonstrating their “babies”. I have to admit, they are beautiful. I do love cars and I do understand those car owners. I am sure after these photos you will agree with me:

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So? Don’t you agree??? I bet you do! There were cars from 1920 to 1970. I loved that Rolls Royce, but every car was just a piece of art!


So after this encounter with the old cars we moved on to the National Museum of Art of Soares dos Reis. I visited this museum two years ago and now I was there with the art professional and that gave me a different view of the works that were presented there. This museum was the first national museum in Portugal. In the beginning of the XX century it was named “Soares dos Reis” in honor of the renown Portuguese sculptor António Soares dos Reis. It displays a beautiful collection of António Soares dos Reis as well a collection of Portuguese art of 19-20th century, including pieces of furniture, tableware, sculptures, paintings and equipment for the artists to work.

Guess where we started? I bet you did guess – the cafe in the inner courtyard. It’s a gorgeous, very calm place with azulejos (Portuguese painted ceramics) and a garden with a fountain in the middle. You can even go and have a walk in the garden if you want. This time we decided to pass and went directly to the museum after having a good strong cup of Portuguese coffee.


20150718_162628The first floor of the museum has paintings. One of them caught my attention – the Lilac and Roses. Lilac is the flower that I love and miss a lot. Spring is the time for Lilac in Russia and there is almost no Lilac in Portugal. My mom sometimes sends me the photos of these flowers, but it’s not the same as smelling it, seeing it on the way to work. This painting by a Portuguese artist was vivid and live. It connected my Portuguese world with my Russian world as there are lots of roses in Portugal and lilac is my Russian flower.

Then there was this sweet and so natural, simple and neat beauty – Flor Agreste by António Soares dos Reis. I saw it two years ago and it struck me. When I was coming over today I was waiting to meet her again. It became some sort of magnet to me as I was actually searching for her. I was so excited to see her again that Zoia even bought me the book about her. It’s a story of her creation and I am sure it will be as beautiful as this creation as well.

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After the beautiful Flor Agreste we encountered we also found someone, who was “Waiting for Success” created by Henrique Pousão.

Waiting for Success

At the end I found to close to my heart – Samovar. Though it was English, Samovar is actually Russian. It’s something that reminds me of my homeland and it was really nice to encounter it in the Portuguese National Museum.


So here was I sending you my “hello” from a music room of a Portuguese National Museum. I hope you enjoyed this story as well as I enjoyed this day!


Those are the things we can enjoy here in Portugal – very good weather, sports, good food, good wine, beautiful cars, amazing pieces of art, great coffee, thoughtful conversations (even though with foreigners, but still amazing ones).

So now I am at my home writing this post, enjoying some fine Portuguese wine from Alentejo.


It was a day with so many “smile moments” that moved into a beautiful evening and continues to be as a warm and calm night. I am sure it will be like this until I fall asleep and see beautiful Portuguese, or maybe international, dreams. I wish you all to have an amazing weekend and I hope to share more with you tomorrow!


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