Portugal 5 May: Esposende - Vila Praia Âncora

a smooth run in the beautiful North of Portugal

Today our journey started at the "Sementes de Liberdade"- School, one of the sweetest schools we have visited so far...

"Sementes de Liberdade" means "Seeds of Freedom", what a beautiful name for a school!

The children expressed their feelings for peace and happiness in a performance for us...

...and we got some medals handmade by the kids...

...we sang together...

...and ran around the school...

We were so delighted with this little school that we promised to come back soon. Thank you "Seeds of Freedom"!

Our next school of the day was the primary school of Esposende...

...the gym hall was packed with sweet kids...

And very Happy...

...the Kids declaimed peace poems...

Dima having a jumping game with his new friends...

Together we all ran to the city hall...

The torch was handed over by the school students to their mayor, Benjamim Pereira, who smilingly held the torch and had a short and heartfelt speech to the children....

We were invited into the assembly hall of the city council. While we were presented with nice gifts (including delicious chocolates and cake!), we could still hear the kids shouting outside!

The enthusiastic mayor showed his running abilities and took some symbolic steps for peace.
Many thanks to Esposende for the wonderful time we had in this beautiful place....

The sun finally appeared while we continued our journey along the fertile green coastline of Minho...

...spectators...

We made or way up North along the coastline....

...crossing the river Lima...

...and we arrived in Viana do Castelo...

Santa Luzia, protector of Viana do Castelo, greeted our team...

Portugal is also famous for its beautiful tiles...

...two famous local athletes, Miguel Ribeiro (left) and Carlos Rocha, joined our team.

We were treated for lunch in the Avenida primary school. The kids gave us an enthusiastic welcome...

...so we decided on the spot to postpone the lunch and do a presentation instead!

We did the full program!

Another local athlete, Claudia Ferreira.

Manuela Machado, a Portuguese running legend! Dipavajan found out that they were in the same race together (she just did much better and got second at the New York City Marathon!)

...running towards the meeting place...

Also Rui Sousa, another local athlete, joined the kids...

As we reached the stage over 400 kids awaited us!

Anna-Margarida, The city representative, presented the Peace Run and the athletes.

All the athletes were presented to the children: the kids cheered for their heroes!

Cute presentations...

...and we passed the torch to all the children...

Another Peace Run day ended. Thank you Viana do Castelo for the great experience!