The clasps clack for the last time, accompanied by the sharp and sudden sound of zips that impatiently close suitcases. One asks for the tenth time if the toothbrushes have been packed and if nobody has forgotten anything, while someone has a coffee in a hurry. It’s the beginning of vacations for many people. We are looking for new experiences and horizons that enrich us, but at the end of all the excitement and movement, we are already longing to return home, to comfort and familiarity. The multiplicity of hostels, hotels and guesthouses that have emerged in recent years promises to accommodate the growing tourism in Portugal, but few establishments can combine the comfort and easiness of one’s home with the possibility of discovering a city. Today we are pleased to meet and reveal to you one of these rarities, Baga de Sal, a guesthouse located at Rua do Gravito, nº 11, in Aveiro.
Maria Arminda Ferreira and Maria Rosa Macedo are the two owners of the establishment. Arminda, an enologist by trade, gazed upon an uncertain future, after working several years in Caves Aliança and began conceptualizing the 'Trincadeira' brand, together with a friend, which would feature a guesthouse. Bureaucratic difficulties resulted in a delay in starting the brand, which was finally created in early 2010, with the help of Rosa Macedo and a third partner, Cecília. The Baga de Sal guesthouse, however, due to the complexities of restoring the building, only started in September 2010. Given the degradation of the building that houses this guesthouse, it’s easy to see the effort that was necessary to materialize the establishment.
In spite of everything, Arminda and Rosa managed to create a unique environment, in a space that is open and inviting. They installed bathrooms in the seven rooms available, renovated the entire electrical installation and removed the wild vegetation from the backyard, where it is now possible to spend a beautiful evening chatting with friends and maybe even cooking some Aveiro delicacies. To cap off this spirit of second home, guests always have at their disposal fruit and water, plus the friendliness and availability of Rosa and Arminda. This is the kind of hospitality enjoyed by anyone and to realize it one can simply observe the variety of nationalities that pass through the doors of Baga de Sal. As a curiosity, on the date this interview was made, Baga de Sal hads French, German, Czech, Italian and Portuguese tourists.
Of course, those who visit Aveiro want to get to know the city, so Arminda and Rosa also suggest points of interest in the city and its surroundings. Arminda considers that Aveiro manages to create even more tourist attractiveness, something that captivates the visitors, so that they remain more than one night. Houses like Baga de Sal help counteract this trend, sometimes in the long run. As an example we mention the following: Arminda, who, seeing the indecision of a Brazilian couple who was looking for a house here in Portugal, decided to advise them to live in Aveiro. They remain here to this day.
The attitude of Arminda and Rosa mirrors well that of the house they created - closeness, friendship and trust available to the world from Aveiro.