Portugal is famous and well known for many things, but it there are few more remarkable than the domination of the church and catholic faith, which saw its astonishing cathedrals and monasteries created, the rich Portuguese cuisine and the historical well preserved medieval villages.
Our journey began in Lisbon with breakfast and then we took to the road very early toward Fatima Sanctuary. In a bit more than an hour we were at the sanctuary and we could once again admire that peaceful and enigmatic place which attracts millions of people every year.
It was good to have a few moments to really feel and absorb all that energy and positive vibration. A welcome minute to reflect on our inner journey and understand our own lives.
Time to get back on the road and continue on our route. With the religious experience still in mind and at only around 18km from Fatima, we went to visit the Mosteiro da Batalha (Monastery of the Battle).
The Mosteiro da Batalha is a Dominican convent and it was erected in commemoration of the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota.
With its style essentially Rayonnant Gothic with some influences from the English Perpendicular Period and some Manuelline, it took over a century to be built. No doubt it is one of the most beautiful buildings in the country and classified as one of the “7 wonders of Portugal”.
It’s nearly lunch time we decided to try one of the local restaurants around the Caldas da Rainha. An area very famous for the flavour of its cuisine, fair prices and huge portions. It was not difficult to find one inside a small village. Not only can we testify to the truth of this areas fame on all counts but we even had some homemade bread baked in a stone stove.
After praying and eating we drove only a few kilometres from the restaurant to visit another of the “7 wonders of Portugal” and be in touch with all the history and the beauty inside the walls of Óbidos.
Óbidos is a medieval village that has its origin in an early Roman settlement although the surrounding areas has the traces of the older civilizations since the late Paleolithic.
The village has most of the buildings inside of its very well preserved walls located on a hilltop. With its narrow streets and the remains of the medieval architecture, it truly is like travelling in time, as you approach the entrance gates to Óbidos Castle. The castle building is one of the Pousadas de Portugal.
Óbidos attracts tourists the whole year, not only to see all the medieval buildings and the history, but for its annual events, such as “Feira do Chocolate” (Chocolate fair) and the Medieval Market.
Following the historical path through the streets you find some charming taverns that preserve most of the old historical style and where you must try the “Ginjinha de óbidos”, a Portuguese liqueur made by infusing ginja berries, (sour cherry) served in a chocolate shot cup, delicious!