Photography: Rodrigo Cabrita / Wort
Last month, the Luxembourger newspaper Wort released an article divided into four parts, in an interview format, starring Gerard Hoss and his daughter, Catarina Hoss, in which the two talk about the relationship between Luxembourg and Portugal and their passion for this country, including his relationship with Ericeira, as part of a series of reports entitled “Happy Luxembourgers in Portugal”.
Any local knows Gerard Hoss as the owner of the Roude Léiw Club (Red Lion) bar and the Luxembourg restaurants, but more than just a master of the catering industry, known for making a cozy home and welcoming everyone with great sympathy, Gerard makes sure to show the passion he has for Ericeira, clearly noticeable from the ground up in the decoration of its establishments, mixing several elements of the Portuguese village and his birthplace.
i have two hearts, one that beats for Luxembourg and the other that beats for Portugal
“I have two hearts, one that beats for Luxembourg and the other beats for Portugal”, assumes the Luxembourger, telling several stories accumulated over 48 years of relationship with Ericeira – it was here that he would spend Summer vacations, almost every year, with his Portuguese wife and their two children.
For Gerard, some of the reasons for moving definitively to the village were the climate and the local relaxation, contrasting, according to him, with the “serious discipline of the Luxembourger”s. Although this decision to move was due to her mother-in-law’s health problems and her career as a manager of an international company, it was a choice he never regretted.
“Look at this sea and this sun. January and February were already months of heat and good weather. Who trades this for the climate of Luxembourg?”. Questions Gerarad, completing the thought while contemplating the sea with his daughter Catarina, who, like her parents, also moved with her family to Ericeira.
“It’s wonderful to be able to live by the sea, come with my daughters to the beach after school and all this freedom we feel here”, confirms Catarina, born in Portugal and who moved to Luxembourg at the age of six months.
The Portuguese-Luxembourger shared with the newspaper Wort that “the impetus for change came due to a professional disillusionment in the life of this former employee of the legal department at a public institute in Luxembourg, combined with the fact that her eldest daughter could start the primary school already in Portugal. And here she is, ‘happy’, how she defines a walk barefoot on the beach, on a sunny morning in May”.
if I had known the life we have here now in this village, I would have come to Portugal earlier
During an interview, Catarina (who currently works as a real estate consultant) tells Wort that Luxembourgers are increasingly buying more houses in places like Ericeira, Lisbon, Cascais and Santa Cruz, for vacation. A search for quality of life, good weather conditions or, perhaps, for surfing, make the fishing village a place one divides their time between the home country and Portugal.
“If I had known the life we have here now in this village, I would have come to Portugal earlier. I feel no regrets and I don’t think about returning to Luxembourg”, emphasizes Catarina Hoss, who says she loves the “mix of nationalities” that Ericeira presents among its inhabitants today.
Gerard, or “Geraldo” or” the “Luxembourger”, as he is affectionately called by the local community, continues to tell, with a smile on his face, all the experiences he has gone through and the chapters he is still writing in this adventure: talks about what led him to open his first restaurant and how it became known as the “Ericeira kebab”, “blaming” his son, who introduced him to the Turkish specialty on one of his trips.
As not everything is a bed of roses, the Luxembourger did not contain his words and made known his opinion on what Ericeira lacks, namely “future vision”.
“This village has enormous wealth, a strong identity and potential. It has unique characteristics and can be a Portuguese Monte Carlo. It identity is disappearing with the closing of, for example, the traditional taverns and restaurants because the owners were unable to overcome the pandemic crisis, and there is no investment in quality infrastructure for tourism and even for its inhabitants. The promised marina was never built, there is no casino and the village is being turned into a dormitory”, he explains, noting that “development is not being undertaken at the risk of Ericeira becoming unattractive in the future”.
daughter and father are very happy living in Ericeira
“What will become of our children and grandchildren then? We are not building anything for them to leave,” he says in a disillusioned tone. This passion for the village already earned him invitations to apply for positions at the Parish Council, which he refused, sharing his ideas as a commentator on RCM, Mafra’s radio station.
Problems aside, both the daughter and the father are very happy living in Ericeira and do not plan to return to Luxembourg.
You can read the full original interview here.
Esta publicação também está disponível em | This article is also available in: Portuguese (Portugal)