Jo’s Monday walk : Magnificent Marvão

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.

walking logo

Rupali, reminding me what snow looks like (and it does snow in Marvão, but not on my visit)

Just a walk…

Liesbet has a little fun, and gets licked!

Happy Cows – A Walk in the Field

Drake knows Paris better than most of us :

Feeling at home out

Miriam brings us beautiful vistas, in her own special way :

Wild about the Grampians

While Cathy continues to be beautifully disgruntled in Rome!

Promises, promises in the Vatican Museums

And Margaret?  Well, it seems she likes wallowing in mud  🙂

Roughly the Same Walk as Last Week

That’s it for now.  Take good care of yourselves, and don’t loose heart.  We’re all in this together!

131 comments

  1. What an incredible town, Jo. Did you drive there? The castle is picture perfect! The views from it as well. And, are those last photos taken from your hotel – a view over the castle? Sign me up, please. I’d love to get a break, away from it all. And that was before this debilitating virus and its consequences. Thank you for sharing my walk. Happy cows and happy times! Take care and please stay healthy.

    1. Yes we did, Liesbet. About 4 and a half hours from the Algarve. The last shots were taken on the walls. I absolutely loved it. Can’t believe it was just a week ago. You take care too! 🤗💕

  2. Such beautiful photos are welcome in these times. They make one daydream about far off exotic places (Marvao, in this instance). I like the sentence about the floodlit castle and cake. 🙂 Stay safe and healthy.

  3. I am a bit late catching up on blogs due to a near-family serious illness to cope with but have finally caught up with this lovely post from a place I’d never even heard of. Quite a find I should think and I’m so glad you managed to get there before all hell broke loose as it has. Loved the pictures, so serene and calm, one can hardly believe there’s such a malevolent spirit stalking the world. Keep well, you and your family.

    1. Thanks so much, Mari. Not easy, any of it! Hope the illness is manageable and that you are able to isolate as much as you need to. The world a week later is a very changed place. And it’s pouring down, which is the least of our problems. Always a bright side somewhere! Stay safe darlin 🤗💕

  4. Obrigada, Jo! This is my favorite walk yet. The scenery, the churches with all of the amazing tile work, and ceilings and beautiful views who wouldn’t love this walk.

  5. simply beautiful, Jo. thank you for for taking us along more so now when the world seems to stand still. it is glorious,so pristine. i would love to be in those charming churches to say a prayer. the cake looks delish. take care always.

  6. Your heading photo is stunning, Jo! A lot to be said for “pure escapism!” All of your photos are beautiful! The photos of the doors and windows capture a surreal mood. I feel like I have been on a mini-escape with you. You have definitely brightened my day and my life. Thank you for sharing, Jo!

      1. Jo, This was a perfect time to share the beauty. The historical buildings remind me how all of this, too, shall pass. I read your kind comment on Leanne’s Cresting the Hill site, about my Iceland post. I responded there, although, Leanne moderates her comments and you may not see it immediately. I love how you mentioned our happy place of reading, writing and playing with our photos. Thank you for sharing, and yes, surrounded by lovely people 💕

    1. We were shall we/shan’t we for a couple of weeks, Carol. Not because of the virus but we had so many social things going on and didn’t want to miss out. Now the social scene is under wraps, we can’t travel and the rain has arrived. Who can predict life? House cleaning this morning 🤣🤣🤣. Take care darlin!

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