Dawn breaks over the castle at Marvão, serene and beautiful. I had been niggling for a little while. ‘Can we have a few days away?’ before company arrives and the summer hots up. How lucky was I? A virus was nibbling away at all our lives. The situation was to take a turn for the worse in my absence. But I was granted a reprieve. Pure escapism! To the border country, on the heights of the Alentejo, here in Portugal.
It was a little drab on our arrival, cloud pressing down on our heads, but undeterred we took to the walls. Finding them full of rich promise.
As evening settled around us, slowly, a break in the clouds, and the last of the sun’s warmth painted the sky. Coral tones, delighting my heart.
I could hardly wait to see what the next day would bring! The world floated beneath me, the natural park of the Serra de Sáo Mamede. Ahead the proud and mighty castle, never yet conquered, with its petticoat of gardens, and a fountain playing gently in the dusk. Nearby the Igreja Santiago seemed still to be open. Timidly I poked my head inside, to be greeted with a welcoming smile.
Gratefully we returned to the hotel for supper. Although the forecast for the next day was good, I wasn’t overly confident, but it dawned with clouds high and puffy in a beautiful blue sky. I would be able to see Marvão at its glorious best.
Much of the village is in pristine condition, but here and there a door or window caught my eye. A candidate for a little affection.
Personality and gentle humour seem to characterise Marvão, but nothing overshadows the castle, looking down on the village from its granite crag.
The cisterna is remarkable for its size, 10 metres by 46. It was built to gather sufficient rainwater to last 6 months, in case of siege. There is no other natural source on the peak of the mountain, almost 900 metres above sea level.
Just beyond the castle, the former Igreja da Santa Maria is now a very beautiful museum.
We had much to see in the valley below, but later that evening we returned to Marvão for supper, to find the castle floodlit.
The photo quality is poor, but I know you always appreciate cake. You may have realised that I was completely smitten with Marvão. We were leaving the next day and, desperate for one last look, I crept out of the hotel at dawn, entranced by the mists floating in the valley.
I had not intended to return to blogging so soon, but much is happening in our world, and for me you are all a part of that. On our return, Portugal had closed schools and suspended all public and social events. Group activities are at an end, restaurants are reducing numbers if not closing, and now the border with Spain is closed. It is all precautionary and time will tell how effective it will be, but meantime I shall try to brighten your lives, as I always have. And, of course, there are walks to share.
Rupali, reminding me what snow looks like (and it does snow in Marvão, but not on my visit)
Liesbet has a little fun, and gets licked!
Drake knows Paris better than most of us :
Miriam brings us beautiful vistas, in her own special way :
While Cathy continues to be beautifully disgruntled in Rome!
And Margaret? Well, it seems she likes wallowing in mud 🙂
That’s it for now. Take good care of yourselves, and don’t loose heart. We’re all in this together!