22nd March 2017. Castelo de Monsaraz, Portugal.

We had intended leaving today but it is SO beautiful and SO peaceful here (except for the intermittent ringing  the clock/clocks (?)  That has kept us entertained, we can’t decided whether we’ve just not noticed the clock ringing most of the time or whether it only rings about 4 times a day.   They rang around  9 a.m then about 1 p.m and 7 p.m and the last time we noticed it was around  11 p.m.   We assume there must be two clocks in the town because one will chime and as that stops the next one has a go but when the first one starts chiming it’s already 5 minutes past the hour, it’s hilarious.  I’d love to know whether there’s an historical reason for that.

Anyway back to what I was saying, it is wonderful here so we came up with a lot of excuses as to why we needed to stay another night.  The main one was that I needed to have another glass of gazpacho!

Just before lunchtime we wandered back up to the restaurant where the nice owner suggested we might like some fresh goats cheese with our bread and olives, he was correct, it was lovely.  Darren had spinach pie this time and I had the lovely soup again.  Our meal was gorgeous but while we were eating I looked out of the window and saw sleet blowing past the window, we thought it was feeling a bit chilly on the walk up!  I was a bit slow finishing my meal and had left a small amount of soup in the bottom of the glass which the owner thought meant I’d finished, neither of us noticed him taking the glass away until Darren saw him pouring the last bit of soup away.  NOOOOO!  That’s sacriledge!  He very kindly brought me over some more soup to replace the bit he’d taken away so it was a win win situation for me.  We had a chat with a nice Australian lady, she was very interesting, unfortunately her husband and daughter must have been used to her getting engrossed in a conversation so they wandered off and she had to scoot off to catch them up, her parting words, said with a giggle, as she stood in the doorway trying to see which way they’d gone was, “Oh, no I may be an orphan now!!”

We chatted to the owner who was very pleased that we’d stayed another day to eat some more of his gorgeous soup.

We had another wander round the town in the late afternoon as the sun came out.  We walked over to the church on the hill, the views from there were fantastic.

On the way back we noticed some sparkly lights in a shop so we went in.  It was an Aladdin’s cave of stuff.  We bought some pretty raffia place mats made in the area, a useful memory of our stay here.  Just as we were about to leave the town we made a detour into the wine shop, the buildings here are so interesting, it’s worth going into them just to look at the architecture.  The lady who was working there was very helpful and we chose two bottles of wine.  However as we were about to leave she asked us where we came from, we told her we were English and she asked whether it was true about the terror attack that had happened in London today which she’d read about on the internet.  We were shocked because we knew nothing about it and she was very apologetic about mentioning it.  She said that there were rumours that a terrorist had been arrested not far from this area yesterday which accounts for all the police cars dotted along our route in.  She was very upset, she said she’d moved here with her little daughter from a city because it’s safe and calm but this has shown her that nowhere is safe anymore.  It is very sad that that seems to be the case.

Back at the van we checked to see whether she was correct about the terrorist attack.  We were very upset to see that she was and our hearts go out to the families of the policeman and two passers-by who were killed in the attack.

Leave a Reply