May 20th – Convent of Christ and Castelo de Vide, Portugal
We started the day in Tomar with a visit to the hilltop Convent of Christ with its famous Manueline window. The convent was founded by the Knights Templar in 1118. Following the dissolution of the Templar Order, in 1319, Pope John XXII instituted the Order of Christ. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
We had just arrived at our first stop and I start snapping away when NOOOOOOO, my camera battery had died. Now I always carry a spare with me, but being still only half with it taking cold meds, I had left it on the bus. So I turned to Tim and asked to use his camera. Well, the camera God’s were frowning on me – his battery was ALSO DEAD!!!!
I tried the old trick of taking the battery out, rubbing the contacts and putting it back in and managed to get a couple shots out of my camera before it totally gave up and would not even open the lens. At least Tim had his iPhone with him and we managed to take a few shots of the spectacular inside and Manueline window before returning to the bus and access to our spare batteries.
Later, we drove south and cross the Tagus river, passing Port wine vineyards and Cork Oak Trees along the way. The Cork Oaks can have their bark “harvested” every 9 years.
Castelo de Vide – Views from on top of the castle:
And a stroll through the small towns old Jewish Quarter where time seems to have stood still with cobbled streets and whitewashed houses (most of them with Gothic doorways and potted plants on the doorsteps). Here is also the oldest synagogue in the country, although all that remains is one modest little room.
As much as I enjoy seeing the historic sights, it was the wildflowers that most grabbed my attention today. Vibrant yellow, cool blue, crisp white, deep purple and brilliant red. Field after glorious field, God painted a wide stroke on todays canvas…
And then we continued on to Evora for dinner and overnight.
Overnight: Evora – Mar De Ar Aqueduto
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the many wild flowers that grace our world and make it so much more pleasant. How sad it would be without them…