The 24th of April of 1988 was being written. It was a Sunday, a beautiful spring day where the sun was shining, and, at the Portela Airport, in Lisbon, 20 people were, little by little, coming together around J.M. Cruz Cebola and Mr. Cardoso, the representative of the Catur travel agency. Soon, they would all be boarding the TP 626 flight bound for Amsterdam, Netherlands. These 20 people were managers and administrators of cargo transport companies. They had been invited by J.M.Cruz Cebola -
Precisely at 12 o’clock, the Boeing 737-
Purchases done, we sailed towards Truckcentrum Sliedrecht, where everyone had the opportunity to find some more trucks. The day had darkened when we drove to the Hotel Dordrecht, in the small town of Dordrecht. Tuesday broke with the "tuga trippers´shopping group" setting off towards Loon op Zand, on the outskirts of Rotterdam, in order to visit the Globe BV company. At 17.40, we were all inside the Boeing 737-
That was how it all started... And it never stopped for years and years...
On May 13th, J.M.Cruz Cebola was already boarding again towards the Netherlands with another group, and on June 10th of that year we began to cover Germany. On this trip, joining us, were companies from the construction and public works’ areas, and machine suppliers were included in the list of companies to be visited.
In February of the following year, 1989, it was time to test the market of public passenger transport, the manager of only one company being the sole participant of this trip. Only in May of 1990 did we start strong in this area. Also in May, but still in 1989, we tested the area of truck-
Those were years with lots of running and plenty of stress, but also of joyful and healthy coexistence, and, of course, good businesses. We got to know many cities, towns and villages in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. We met lots of people in these countries, some exceptional, others not so much... We ran (in some cases, 'we flew'...) on motorways, highways, main roads and secondary roads, we saw hills and valleys, rain and snow, breathtaking landscapes. We visited what there was to visit in the cities where we stayed.
It could be the Red Light District in Amsterdam, or the Alte Pinakothek (Museum of Ancient Painting) in Munich; it could be the Reeperbanh in Hamburg, or the Altstadt in Dusseldorf, or even the Grand Place in Brussels. We were either having a fast lunch, consisting of a sandwich in a service area of a motorway, or banqueting, at dinner, in a 'steak house' of a city center. We used vehicles of all types, brands and models, which took us from one side to another. It could be a fast and high-
We publish the few we have here and request those who participated in those trips, and that still have some photographs, to be so kind as to provide us with copies.
Unfortunately, the advance of new technologies and the infiltration of the Internet in our personal and professional lives led to the conclusion that those trips were no longer necessary, with everything beginning to be done at a virtual level. Better or worse? More advantages or disadvantages? Each shall evaluate it the way it makes more sense to oneself. For us, it was bad losing the personal contact with people.
In our view, trading eye to eye is much better than negotiating through 'bits'. Sitting in the driver's seat of a bus or in the cab of an excavator, turning the key and hearing the sound of its engines hissing surpasses by far any photography or video we can see on the monitor of our computer or on our mobile phone screen. Are we 'démodés'? Maybe. Nostalgic? Surely. We miss those times…
However, this does not prevent us from following the technological developments and try, as we have always done in the past, to stand in the front line.
With our 'homegrown' tools, we drew up and completed several websites, all linked to the mother page, a veteran of many years (its first version dating back to 1999!), which died and was buried in 2013 and has been replaced with a brand new web page in 2013, the year we created the ‘pt’ domain, although we kept the old ‘com’ domain. This mother website hosts under one roof all the various activities to which we are attached, although some of them have their own domains and their own web pages. Such is the case of 'tradutor-
Also new are the barcodes (qr codes) that we embed in each of our pages and that allow those who have this application installed on the smartphone to point it to the code and open the page in the smartphone.
That's life. It does not come with a manual. There are comings and goings. It heats and it cools, presses and later relaxes, calms down and then disquiets. What it demands from us is courage. Our doubts are betrayers and make us lose what we could often win, by the simple fear of taking chances. We'll take chances!
First trip in April 1988