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Saturday, 30 January 2016

Capital of Alentejo . Part 1

EVORA .. The Capital of northern Alentejo.
As one can imagine! There is so much to learn and read and discover about this City,on the web .
   I am writing today about how I see Evora and what it means to me.     Its a City that never ceases to amaze me, and that I love very much. It oozes history, and I always return.

When walking around the town , in this modern day world of ours.  I have often sat having a coffee closed my eyes and imagined how it must have been during Roman times and the Arab occupation. I go off into my own historical imaginary world.
Every time I go to Evora, there is something new that one sees, and yet you have passed it many times before.  During the summer months , its has become a great attraction for tourists from all over the world.  

 Upon approaching the City  you can see the  Se´Cathedral  high upon the hill, predominately adding to the   breathtaking sight and taking centre place, over the walled in old Town. 
 One cannot visit Evora, without visiting the Cathedral.  There are of course many other beautiful churches in Evora.  (another post maybe) !
I live within the southern part of Alentejo.. very close to the division.  Evora  is somehow closer for me to drive to, than   Beja, the Capital of Southern Alentejo.  Evora  has a unique charm all of its own.
The Cathedral's first building began around  1184 and 1204.. All documented history.

There are no high rise buildings . The architecture dates through various historical periods up to the present day. Romans, Arabs, Goths, Visigoths, Celts....

 Many valuable additions have been added through the times. The main façade is built with Rose granite- completed in the 16th century.
    Like many Portuguese churches the outer walls are decorated with crenellations and arcaded corbels.
                                                         This is the main street leading up to the Cathedral main entrance.. all the streets are cobbled stones.  As are most of the old villages around too.

Evora is a fine example of the "Golden age of Portugal"
After the destruction of Lisbon by the earthquake and tidal wave of 1755.  Evora alone, enables one to understand the influence exerted by Portuguese Architecture in Brazil and its other acquired Colonies.

Inside the Cathedral..  A most stunningly beautiful building.

Inside mediaeval tiles and Portuguese Gothic architecture statues and columns.

The University of Evora. . Built by the Jesuits in 1559.. It was a monastary and still has a number of chapels in the building.  It was at this University.
my youngest son obtained his masters degree in music.   Now 14 years ago.  I remember that day so well.   All my family were together ..a very memorable day. The University is a public university.  professors from all over the world teach here.. and others obtain their degree here.
Evora is a walled in city.   It has various entry points.  Very very impressive as one approaches the walls.  The outer walls in various places have benches and have lovely lawn and flowers to enhance it.

 Evora is a good day out.. to have a walk around . Finding the  lovely artistic artisan   shops ..selling the most unique of gifts. Hand made pottery and traditional ware.

                                                       The streets are very narrow..
                                                  Lamps on the corner of the houses in the inner city. Endless beauty, calls you back to visit yet again this beautiful  UNESCO HERITAGE CITY.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.


Saturday, 23 January 2016

A winters day in January

For the last week, we have had heavy rain and also drizzle most of the time.  Its been very wet and damp.   Wellies of course to walk around outside.      Today I woke with the sun beaming through my bedroom window.  All is serene and calm.   The fields between the olive trees are full of yellow flowers. It looks so pretty.  

                              You might remember my family of doves.  They are still around.  These are grown babies now.  I discovered where they sleep.. they sleep in two olive trees, next to the cottage.  I also saw a beautiful male blackbird again.  When the weather is good and sun is shining.. i love to hear the twittering of the birds flying to and fro.
                           left to right.. Surprise, still as naughty as ever.. Venus, nearly as tall as her sister Surprise and mummy Pascoa.. Pascoa will be 23 on Easter Sunday.  She is very loving.  They are enjoying the sun.  They stay  in this place during the morning, as they know I will come out to give them their rations.  Very intelligent animals.   Filipe rode Surprise last week..she needs more exercise .
  My garden is not a tailored garden.   Its pretty average.. I have to bear in mind, the type of plants that will be resistant to our very very hot summer months.   I didnt give  them a big cut back last year.  This Pedro was here about 9 days ago, and gave many of the bushes and creepers a good cut back.  Its looking a little bare.  It really needed it.  The rose bushes are already getting new shoots.
           cutting back roses and hedges.
                  So happy to see the lovely daisies showing their happy faces this morning.

All is well here at Quintinha das Rosas.     I am enjoying these winter months this year. So far, its been a rather mild one, but as many of you will know.  From Central southern Portugal down to the Algarve our winters are very mild, compared to Northern Europe.

Saying hello to you all dear friends .  Hope that you are having a lovely Saturday, wherever you are.

Thank you so much for your comments on my last post.    I miss you all.

Happy days.    Val

Sunday, 17 January 2016

January 2016

Dear blogging friends.    Its better late than never.    I hope that 2016, will be an excellent loving one for you all.
I will be posting now and again, but with less frequency.   Life is going at a fast pace for me at the moment.  There is so much that I have to do.  
I am also spending time with my youngest son who is  at the top farm.. sorting things out and getting it all ready to be his new home. Keeping some of dad's ideas on.

Excitement in the family.. as my eldest grandson, has arrived at his destination for the next 4 months.. He is at the marine conservation research centre TRAAC on  Pom Pom island of the Borneo mainland.
studying marine life conservation.. coral reefs and other. A great choice he lives just about in the sea.
He aquired his diving licence in Kenya last year.. and due to sailing and knowledge of the sea. Having done one Atlantic crossing.. he is a little ahead of some of the others.  We all wish him luck.

Here the garden is over growing.   This week Pedro has been pruning and trimming back all the overgrowth, and its slowly looking like my garden again.   We are having a relatively mild winter.. although cold, the sun is shining and thats nice.
All is the same, in my little paradise here in Alentejo.   Life is busy and the days pass quickly.
I hope to catch up with you all, as time goes on.

Thank you to all my dear friends for following me during these last 4 years.  Its been great.  Hope that it continues.

I am also enjoying instagram.. FB and faffing with my ipad.

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday..


Saturday, 19 December 2015

December 19th -2015

I am still around dear friends.  Its been a busy couple of months for me.  
This last week , I have been buying presents for my grandchildren. I just can't believe that another christmas is now upon us.  
I have been enjoying these days here at the Quinta.  We have been having phenomenal weather.  Warm days of temps of 21 and 22º - unbelievable, its like spring has arrived.
My inner garden area has grown and grown.  Some of the bushes are so high, my rose bushes are thriving.   It all looks so lovely.
We had a little rain in Nov, that was all.  
 Climate change is here to stay. I cannot remember  weather in December as we have now.  
This Christmas I will be spending with my eldest son Manel and family  in his beautiful  new home in Lisbon.  In total 23 all family from both sides and grandchildren from both sides.  I am so looking forward to it.  
All is ready for my driving up on Tuesday.  Ever so reliable Pedro, will be looking after my doggies and home , while I am gone. 

               Took this of dear  Vouga on  Thursday.. ever so faithful and a fantastic guard dog, I think he is a handsome fellow too.  He wants to jump up when I come out in the morning, and nearly bolls me over.   He is named after a beautiful river in the north of Portugal-
                                       This yellow rose, many of you will recognize .. it grows about 6ft tall amongst the Oleander trees, I have a tall red one too.   taken thursday.   forgot to take flash off.
                                     This whole bed of roses are producing blooms by the day.  I have been growing roses for over 12 years.. Never had such an abundance , especially approaching winter.
                                              Enjoing a few decorations for Christmas. White lights on the windows, Christmas music , hot chocolate and  cups of tea with mince pies. - Next step Lisbon.

   Thank you for all your comments on my November post, and for following Val's Alentejo.

   Wherever you will be, Enjoy this special time of the year.

                                                           Sending Greetings for a very blessed Christmas.


vals alentejo

WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.