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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Can we rename the stormy capes of our lives?

Ana  visits the Discovery Monument in Portugal - July 2012
Looking forward and facing what's head of us  with hope is essential to make a productive contribution to life, yet challenges will always be there during the process. That is why learning what others have done when they faced challenges to move forward is a rewarding and uplifting experience, every time we come to Portugal we have abundant history around us to remind us of this principle.

The enormous compass rose made of fine marble stone that paves the floor on our way to the entrance of the Discoveries Monument is a good example of that principle. This impressive piece of art occupies a surface of 50 meters in diameter and at the center of it there is a world map that depicts the routes of the maritime discoveries of the Portuguese navigators in the XV and XVI centuries, what many do not know is that this popular tourist attraction was designed by a Portuguese architect but it was a gift from South Africa in 1960. 

To me this is an interesting detail, because it was exactly in South Africa that the navigators found one of their greatest challenges, the needed to conquer a stormy cape to be able move forward towards the East. The first navigator to reach the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa was Bartolomeu Dias in 1488 who name it as the "The Cape of Storms" or in Portuguese "Cabo das Tormentas", he and other navigators struggled to pass this cape to reach the seas that would put them in the route to the orient, it was the King John II that renamed the Cape latter to Cape of Good Hope because of his spirit of looking forward to open a sea route to India and the East.

The days of glory in the Portuguese history books did not came without sacrifice and perseverance and without hope in the future. Can we too rename the stormy capes of our lives today?

Link: More photos of this summer at home in Portugal
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