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

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Obidos and Porto in Portugal

At first I thought that this might be a Roman aqueduct. However it turns out that Queen Catherine ordered its construction at Obidos around 1834.

We woke up early and grabbed coffee and a Danish and a taxi to our rental car. The car turned out to be parked in the most inconvenient possible location in Lisbon. With the aid of our new GPS and the Portugal mini SD chip, we navigated our way out, to the accompaniment of numerous braying automobile horns.

Mrs. Phred finally scored some sardines, a famous national Portuguese dish, which are currently out of season.

The medieval town of Obidos is enclosed by fortress walls which were constructed by the Moors. On 11 January 1148, the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, took the castle from the Moors and used it as a base for Templar raids. The Knights Templars were a religious, military and banking order.

The Templars' existence was tied closely to the Crusades; when the Holy Land was lost, support for the Order faded. Rumours about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created mistrust and King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the Order, took advantage of the situation. In 1307, many of the Order's members in France were arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and then burned at the stake. Under pressure from King Philip, Pope Clement Vdisbanded the Order in 1312.

Mrs. Phred orders me to accompany her on the wall, then she sends me back down. She says the walkway is too high and narrow for me and that I would be frightened. I go down and take pictures.

Later we drive and drive to see the Monastery of Batalha. It's a big building. We are both tired of looking at churches. This one took enormous effort and 120 years to construct. I guess it's better than a billion dollar obsolete bomber rusting in the Arizona desert. The works of man...what foolishness and futility

Sunbeams on the floor through stained glass.

A gargoyle? Not that grotesque, but it looks like he spouts water...

Mrs. Phred and her escort reflected in a window.

Photos of our pousada in Porto. A pousada is a Portuguese hotel located in well preserved yet unspoilt national monuments, such as convents, monasteries, castles or fortresses. We are staying in pousadas in Porto, Marvao and Evora. This one is on the banks of the Douro River.

This one has indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna,Turkish bath and a workout room. We found slippers and bathrobes in our room.  What a beautiful pousada.  They had a great two piece jazz group this evening in this room pictured.  Wine, carpaccio, and "You Can't Take that Away From Me" made for a great evening. 

1 comment:

  1. keep those photos coming..with the blog it is like being there with the place where you are staying...looks very elegant...for what it is worth I would not have walked that wall either ..SIL