Sunday, 19 February 2012

Progress resumed


Fajã Grande's Avenida Marginal sounds awfully grand but in fact it's just the dirt track which winds along the rocky shoreline. And to be honest, that's all FG needs by way of a thoroughfare along the rocky shoreline because there's not much there apart from, well, rocks.


But the Câmara Municipal thinks differently. They have a vision of doing up the Avenida Marginal so it can take its place with Cannes' La Croisette, Havana's Malecon and Nice's Promenade des Anglais amongst the great seafront boulevards of the world. These ambitions were first announced as far back as July 2009 by a billboard under the the slogan "O Progresso Continua" (Progress Continues).


The timing was in no way related to the forthcoming elections to the CM and the billboard further advised that work would be starting "brevemente" (soon). But six months later - and in no way related to the fact the incumbents of the CM had won the election in the interim - Progress had stumbled:-


That was two years ago. The remnants of the sign finally blew away in a storm in March 2010. Progress had not so much stumbled as been knee-capped and thrown down an abandoned mine shaft with its head and limbs chopped off to prevent identification. Progress was floating face down in the water. Quite like the billboard. Somewhere off Tristan da Cunha, I expect, having been dragged thither by the Humboldt Current - a force which moves with the same sort of sinuously inexorable lethargy as (but perhaps with greater predictability than?) the sluggish machinations of the Câmara Municipal das Lajes das Flores.

But Thomases of the world, doubt ye not for I can report that Progress (if not the billboard) has been fished out the water, given the kiss of life and resumed! Work on the Avenida Marginal has at last begun and bits of it are looking quite promising - particularly this rather fine drystone retaining wall along the seaward side:-


Although other parts of the project are looking a bit like the border between Israel and the West Bank:-


I assume that's going to be clad with natural stonework as well. Although "assume" is a very dangerous word to use in Portugal. We regularly find ourselves "assuming" a bit like people in London in 1940 lit lights. For us, the equivalent of "PUT THAT LIGHT OUT!" is "NEVER ASSUME!".

 
So I'll rephrase that as "I hope that's going to be clad with natural stonework." I'll keep you posted.

8 comments:

Luís C. F. Henriques said...

Quite interesting post.

Best wishes,
Luís Henriques

Marisa said...

OMG! :((( Did you see what "he" did to Poço do Bacalhau??? Unspeakable..... There used to be a steamroller (made of solid rock - basalto) a huge one, similar as the one near to Ponta, but much bigger, they simply destroyed it... a work of art. It stood there years and years at that cross in the picture, where the garbage cans are now. It's difficult to understand those little minds. Crime Scenery???

Luís C. F. Henriques said...

Indeed Marisa, that is no way to preserve the island's cultural heritage... cement it? That has been the "norm" around here... Unfortunately...

Best wishes,
L.H.

Kathie said...

As Joni Mitchell sang, "They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot..."

gerbrand said...

Dear Neil and Carol

Thanks for publishng the sad news. I,m a regular vister from Flores for around 15 years.I used to fix the walking trails on all the Islands and I,m a fanatic birdwatcher.Faja Grande was always my favorete spot on the Azores but I have seen its quality going down in high speed. The president responseble for this crime has done maney simular things and you ust be aware of the big bunkersa he had build some while ago near the seaside. His private house between Ponta and FG near Poça de bacalhau is another example.When you realize that the company who sells all the construction materials is his own property than you only can think that we do not live in Europe but in a old fashion southamerican ministate where rules are made for own intrest.I live in the Azores for more tan 20 years and there is a big contrastbetween the fanastic nature and people living on it and the incredible coruption donme by half a dozen of ugly creaters. Well......hope is last to dy but when things go on like this I,m seriously thinking to pack my things and move somewere else. Keep on!Shit happens.
Gerby Michielsen

gerbrand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerby Michielsen said...

Dear Neil and Carol

Thanks for publishng the sad news. I,m a regular vister from Flores for around 15 years.I used to fix the walking trails on all the Islands and I,m a fanatic birdwatcher.Faja Grande was always my favorete spot on the Azores but I have seen its quality going down in high speed. The president responseble for this crime has done maney simular things and you ust be aware of the big bunkersa he had build some while ago near the seaside. His private house between Ponta and FG near Poça de bacalhau is another example.When you realize that the company who sells all the construction materials is his own property than you only can think that we do not live in Europe but in a old fashion southamerican ministate where rules are made for own intrest.I live in the Azores for more tan 20 years and there is a big contrastbetween the fanastic nature and people living on it and the incredible coruption donme by half a dozen of ugly creaters. Well......hope is last to dy but when things go on like this I,m seriously thinking to pack my things and move somewere else. Keep on!Shit happens.
Gerby Michielsen

Ana Monteiro said...

http://youtu.be/luh2z6yj5aQ