Friday, 9 August 2019

New aspects of Trujillo - Vera Cruz graveyard

A hot summer morning for a shady walk around the Vera Cruz cemetery of Trujillo with sound effects from mournful moaning doves.
 Labyrinthine paths are lined with tombs, burial niches and mausoleums under the shadow of magnificent Cyprus trees. The area is extensive and can be seen best from the walk along the outer defensive wall near the Puerta del Triunfo which was where the Christian army breached the Moorish walls and re-conquered the city in 1232. Very soon after the church of Vera Cruz was built just inside the wall, it flourished for five centuries until destruction by Napoleonic troops in 1809. It was on the site of the ruined 13th century church and surrounding grounds that the cemetery was started in the middle of the 19th century.
Well worth a visit for the tranquil atmosphere and fascination of seeing all the family names recorded here, some unusual ones such as "Familia O' Mullony".
 The sealed niches and mausoleums with inscribed plaques were an interesting record but did not feel particularly melancholy or eerie whereas the dark underground tombs with shelves of stone caskets exposed by propped up trap doors were a little more poignant on such a sunny day.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Birthday trip to the top of the world

Surprise trip on Manfred's secret route to Guadalupe taking in spectacular views and the lovely little castle tower at Cabañas del Castillo where we have stopped for a picnic with the vultures many times. This time we continued on the route over the mountain magically ending up in Guadalupe for lunch at the Parador, a beautifully preserved convent with a lovely patio, everything delicious.

Day hasn't finished yet and look who dropped in to say hello.....


Wednesday, 24 April 2019

How to warm up whilst at La Habiba on a wet spring evening

La Habiba is our little retreat at the finca, it's a special place in seclusion surrounded by wild woods, rocks and water, at the moment nightingales are singing night and day with the eagle owl joining in at dusk. It is charming and comfortable but primarily designed as a summer house with outside kitchen. We have had a few days of mis weather so have put together a fire bowl to cheer us up, certainly romantic looking at the rain from the porch with the bowl glowing away. 

Monday, 22 April 2019

From Finca al-manzil to Montanchez via Garganta de Molinos

One of our favourite hikes, about 12 kms, takes about 3 hours over very varied terrain, a steep climb up the garganta but then fairly level through chestnut woods into Montanchez and then downhill back to the finca.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

The streets of Évora

A quick trip to Évora the capital of Alentejo in Portugal, on a beautiful day, just walking around some old haunts. 
The Roman temple of Diana still looks impressive, the Praça do Giraldo is still a bit austere but the small streets and travessas are a delight, lots of cafés and restaurants with delicious typical food and wine of the region, a very relaxed town still within the old walls. 2 hours from Finca al-manzil.


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