Sunday, August 30, 2015

Portugal through the eyes of Kings and Friars

On Friday, August 14, we made our first trip together inside of Europe, to Portugal.  We had a productive day with our Self-Reliance Services manager, Antonio Paulo and have more meetings planned with Self-Reliance groups, facilitators and priesthood leaders on Sunday and Monday.  However, on Saturday we had some open time and Antonio Paulo and his wife and daughter took the day to give us a personal tour of Lisbon and Sintra, Portugal.  We share just a little of this below, to give you an idea of the wonderful things we have seen and learned with these special friends.

It focused on a historic city about 45 minutes out of Lisbon, named Sintra, which has long been the home to Portuguese monarchs, dating back prior to 1500.  We are were able to see how the summer palace of the king and queen of Portugal and were  also able to see a significant contrast as we visited a monastery where 8 monks lived far from the comforts of home, all during the same epoch.  Comments and photos follow:

This is a view of the Palace of Sinatra, which was the summer retreat for the royalty of Portugal.  The palace had origins in the 10th century bust most of what we were able to see dates to the 15th century.  The coned shape "spires" are chimneys from their kitchen:

Debbie and I are in the formal meeting room with ornate wall tiles and ceiling decor.  This is where many of the important treaties of the day were signed and probably where Christopher Columbus met with Queen Isabel.

Another photo from another location in the palace:

View from the front of the place of the remains of a castle and fort that is on the top of the mountain:

Afterwards we went to visit The Capuchos Convent.  The convent is made into the rock and you get a real feeling of the hardships the eight monks who lived there had to endure.  This was established in 1560, similar time to the palace that we visited.

Small living accommodations, the doors only go up to Debbie's neck:

Many of the doors are covered with cork which comes from the tress in the location.  The following shows some of the cork covering and then one of the trees where the cork comes from.  Portugal is the major producer of cork in the world:

We finished the day visiting the coast of Portugal which is the most western location in continental Europe:

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