Praia e Campo - Beach and countryside

Trip Start Oct 07, 2006
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13
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Trip End Oct 15, 2006


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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Sexto día
Quinta 12
After a pretty standard continental breakfast, we walk again on the beach. The breakers are furious, and there are colossal lifesavers on tall poles all along the beach. Each one has a telephone number, so one presumes that if you are drowning you should call that number and ask for a giant to get it down and throw it out to you.  

We then take the funicular railway up the steep hillside to the village of Sitio. The views back over Nazaré are absolutely breathtaking. It's a cute little village with a surprisingly attractive church which has the most magnificent azulejos we have yet seen. Miryam pals up with a buxom red-faced lady dressed as a typical Portuguese fisherwoman. She has a stall offering an amazing selection of dried fruits and nuts. After a photo session we purchase enough of her wares to keep her happy. Imagine our surprise later on when leafing through a Portuguese Tourist Board brochure to find the very same lady appearing in a publicity photo beside her stand. After almost being run over by a Trafalgar tour bus, we descend once more to Nazaré, fetch the car and drive back over the coastal hills to Alcobaça to see yet another magnificent cathedral.

Alcobaça is a pretty town and we enjoy a sidewalk coffee facing this impressive Gothic church. The Monastery was built in the 12th century and is one of the first examples of Gothic architecture in Europe. In the 17th and 18th centuries the facade was remodeled in baroque style while the Gothic portal survived. The monastery houses the most romantic tombs of Portugal - those of King Pedro and his murdered love Inés de Castro. This is quite a story which you can read about it in Wikipedia under Pedro 1 nof Portugal. The nave is a huge and slender space, devoid of any ornamentation, which envelops you in a feeling of spirituality.
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