Portugal 20 February: Figueira da Foz

the Peace Torch arrives in Portugal

Once more the "Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run" starts it's journey through Europe in Portugal!
A big Thank you to the "Sweet Atlantic Hotel" for hosting our team. What better start could we have?

The Peace Run Europe 2014 starts actually in Lisbon, but we promised many schools in Figueira da Foz to visit them before the opening. This is why we desided to have a local pre-start to meet many of our old good friends and thank them for their great support over the years.
Figueira da Foz is for our Peace Runners the real Peace Capital of Portugal!

It was a rainy day, so we gathered in the sport hall of the "Escola Secundária com 3º circlo Dr. Joaquim de Carvalho".

...a brief presentation and the torch went on its way around...

...actions with our theme song...

The rain stopped and the kids carried the torch around the school...

Thank you for the nice welcome!

A local friend from the police force in Figueira da Foz dedicated his spare time to lead our runners through the city...

...off to the next school...

Our team split and Team A went to the "Casa Nossa Senhora do Rosário" primary school.

The kids lit candles with the peace flame...

A very heartfelt meeting!

...Team A continued...

..so did team B.

...and arrived in the "Escola EB 2,3 João de Abarros" - school.

...a friendly, spontaneous meeting...

...followed by the "Casa da Criança S. Julião" primary school.

...big smiles as we passed the torch...

...and another singing performance...

...bull fights in Portugal are not as bloody as in Spain: the bull survives...

...a kindergarten was next: a school choir and a rainbow awaited us....

...a cool group picture...

...and Team B went on to the "Jardim de Infáncia João de Deus" primary school.

Amo te mundo - love the world!

...the kids wear school uniforms - each color belongs to another grade...

...nice kids - nice teachers!

.."Escola Secundária Dr. Bernardino Machado" was next.

..a nice singing performance....

The director welcomed the Peace Run several times in the past - also on several schools!

Thank you "Escola Secundária Dr. Bernardino Machado"!

kids from all schools carried the torch on to the next one...

Oposite was the "Jardim de infancia João de Deus" primary school. Because the route was so short and the kids wanted to run more we circled the school before the meeting...

Balloons with greeting messages were the highlight of the meeting...

Thanks for the fun!

Meanwhile Team A did a great job:

the runners visited the "Centro de Formação da GNR" of the police force in Portugal.

Coronel Paulo Soares received the peace torch and greeted our runners.

...a group picture was taken and then Team A went on through the city....

Team B reached the "Coservatório de Musica David Sousa".

...the little space did not dampen our spirits -

..we performed a marvelous song...

...even a piano accompanied us....

Team A went on and runners from the police school joined....

...a short stop to the "Escola Professional" Secundary school...

...what is a Run through the city without a visit to our good friend Dr. João Ataíde, the Mayor of Figueira da Foz?

He interrupted a meeting just to greet our runners. Thank you again for the welcome!

The final steps: both teams met near the sea and together we ran the last metres...

Figueira da Foz inaugurated a statue to the founder of the Peace Run, Sri Chinmoy. What beter place to end a most inspiring running morning with so many happy faces?

...final words and a "Thank you" to all runners...

Good bye Figueira da Foz and see you again next year!