/ Paula Jansone / Photo story

The Pearls of the Atlantic

When it became clear that my grandfather’s health is not good enough to overcome two flights, the inevitable change of pressure and hiking in the mountains, I took his place and together with my grandmother went on a trip The Atlantic Pearl – Madeira organised by a tour agency. Every morning at 8:45am grandma, me and 37 other tourists got on the bus and drove to tourist spots in the mountains and valleys, went on guided tours to caves and museums, ate at the local cafes and restaurants and bought things at the souvenir shops.

The day before my grandma turned 68 years old, we sat in a cafe near the ocean full of dolphins and argued about the LGBT community, media independence, data protection and drug abuse among teenagers, about me washing my hair every day and being way too late back at my hotel room at night. And about me taking too many pictures. Even though tourists had to take as many photos as possible – starting with the clouds in the mountains and specific street signs – to remember as much as you can about the place you visited.

My traveling companions took photos by the pool at the hotel and by the beach in the countryside, near architectural monuments, at churches and banana plantations. They took photos of themselves and other tourists from other countries – which were exactly the same tour groups as ours.

Paula Jansone (1993) is a young Latvian photographer who has studied arts at the Latvian Academy of Culture. She has also attended photography lessons by Andrejs Grants, but now studies at the ISSP School.