Monday, April 4, 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2016: Baja to Batalha, Portugal

This morning, Sunday morning dawned bright and clear, however by noon it was cloudy and by late afternoon we were in rain.   By the time I am writing this at 10:00 pm, the rain is really coming down. 

Cal & I left Baja this morning after driving around the historical part of the city.  We drove pass vineyards, and olive groves, with cork oak spread throughout on our way to Evora, a UNESCO sight.  On the way we diverted to Portel.  As we approached the town of Portel we could see a Castle at the top of the hill.  We were not planning to stop, but it drew us in!  After walking around the castle ruins and taking photos of the valley below, we were back on the road toward Evora. 
Stork Nests in one tree

Portel Castle from a distance

Views from the Castle

Ruins inside the Castle

Portel Church

Olive Grove

Grapes beginning to grow for the new season

However, on the way, we passed two gentlemen (Father & Son) working in their vineyards right beside the road.  Cal wanted to get up-close and personal with the farmers!  He turned around and we went back to communicate the best we could with someone who knew no English and we know no Portuguese. They were putting plastic guards around each newly grafted plant.   
Newly grafted plant

Adding tubes for protection


The last two days Cal & I have been traveling outside the high profile Tourist areas until we reached Evora!  Wow! People everywhere!  No parking available on a Sunday morning. In the end, we simply took a few photos and left town as our time was running out.  The drive back to Lisbon was interesting - storks in nests, fields of wheat, olive groves, people out on a Sunday morning.  
Evora Roman Ruins

Cristo Reo returning to Lisbon

We needed to be back at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lisbon to pick up our daughter Cherie between 1:30-2:00.  We found our way back into the city and drove directly to the hotel!  She waited about 15 minutes for us – not bad!

We are now ready to go to northern Portugal.  Our first stop is at a Monastery in Alcobaca. It is also a UNESCO site.  This is the largest church in Portugal and was finished in the year of 1223!. Wow! This was one huge place.
Alcobaca Monastery

Church Nave

Hall of Kings


Drainage Gargoyles

Large Meeting Room

Kitchen and Chimney

Room where Monks Slept

Famous Tomb of King Pedro

We decided to continue driving north to the town of Batalha, where another Monastery is located.  Outside of Lisbon this is the most visited location in all of Portugal. As we drove into town we spotted a hotel right next to the Monastery.  It looked great, and after settling in, we found a great restaurant around the corner.  Currently we are back at the hotel, ready to crash for the night!!   

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