Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Castles of Sortelha and Sabugal

After breakfast in Mantiegas, we set out in search of hilltop villages with castles.




We drive for an hour over deserted back roads and get hopelessly lost several times in village alleys barely wide enough for one car...



After seeing this sign above we soon spot a strange structure high on a hill. We drive up a rutted dirt road to explore this  spooky and lonely "castle'....what seems strange is that there are signs of new abandoned construction as well as older ruins....also the castle seems indefensible...we walk away confused and puzzled...


It turns out, after searching Google, that this is the old Spa Hotel em Sortelha
Total floor area: 11,000 m² | Total area: 112 Hectares
Price: € 3.500.000,00
The former spa hotel was built in 1915 and is situated near the historic village of Sortelha, a municipality of Sabugal which was known for its underground spring waters that were thought to have therapeutic effects.

There is a rusted and abandoned steam tractor on the grounds...it's amazing how quickly the works of man crumble before mother nature.....


Later we find the real walled city and castle of Sortelha.



Castle and windmills...



In Belmonte, Mrs. Phred wants to see the Synagogue.We wander around and finally find it behind the castle (no picture of the castle...they all look about the same to us by now)...


Mrs. Phred was confused yesterday by the menorah with only places for seven candles instead of nine. Here we see both seven and nine  in the pictures above and below.


It turns out that the word "menorah" means candelabra and they can actually have as many candles as you want. A CHANUKKIYAH Menorah, the kind that is specifically made for Chanukah, has nine places for candles. The most typical menorahs have seven places, one for each day of the week. These both have been a symbols for Judaism for centuries.


We find a hotel for the night in Castelo Branco. It has tennis courts, but it's very cold and windy today.


Dinner is a very good buffet with lots of interesting salads, codfish, baby goats and chicken soup. We both pig out for a change...

1 comment:

  1. It sure looks like you have these towns all to yourself....how nice..the hotel looks great....SIL

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