This will be my last post from this beautiful town of Tomar in central Portugal. How I got here was nothing short of the grace of God. It was not without a lot of tears, all well spent. I would come to find out on my arrival to this town, it would be home to the “worlds largest matchbook museum”
Once upon a time, in the history of this country it was against the law to own a lighter. There was a huge industry in making matchbooks. The tools used to light a fire. The museum itself is nothing to light a candle to. As I walked the rooms and viewed thousands of matchbooks and matchboxes, I was struck by the enormity of how big a fire this would be if this place were to catch on FIRE! Akin to seeing a firecracker factory go up in smoke. Then it begs to ask, why would anyone collect all these matchbooks? Because the graphics are amazing and entertaining. I never saw the same matchbook twice. Strike while the fire is hot. This town is filled with all sorts of quirky tidbits. I believe it was not until the 70’s that the law was changed, after the last revolution.
Not far from this museum is a tile factory. Actually the tiles are not made there. They are hand painted and decorated at this spot. A group of local women artist paint everything Portuguese and more on tile and then fire them. Tile is to Portugal as Mickey Mouse is to Disneyland. My second day in this country I went to an actual tile museum. I had learned about this museum on Sunday morning watching a news show on CBS. I had no idea that day that I would actually be visiting that museum. It did not disappoint. Yet due to the airlines luggage weight rules, I have to leave most of the tile behind. But I have had some special ones custom made.
I will be leaving this beautiful part of the world and all the wonderful souls I met along this path. There is so much that I missed and someday when I return more awaits. A match has been lit and I look forward to the next adventure. Obrigada Tomar!