Portugal Tour - Medieval to Modern
September 18-26, 2005


September 23rd was our full day out to Mafra - some people has requested to see one of the local cemeteries so we made a quick stop at the Malveira Cemetary. Our guide was telling us that they save up their whole lives to get a little vault built..now a days they are in marble and hold about 4-6 people. If you look inside you will see all kinds of mementos there including delicate lace covers. Now I personally find cemeteries quite interesting, but you may not. Just before entering the village I saw these brick oven/stoves and had to get a picture of them. They are very popular. The Sobreiro Miniature Village was quite the sight...this man had built this whole village just for his own pleasure and that of his family. It even had a working windmill and you could go inside and see how it worked. Then a quick stop at a terracotta shop where I think it would be hard not to find what you wanted...we stopped at Ericeira for our lunch and some free time. It's a fishing village and quite the resort in the summer. The colours of the buildings, blue mostly reflect the closeness of the ocean. There are many tiled buildings here. The center street is full of shops and outdoor cafes. The two pictures of the ocean are right where our bus parked and where we would meet later on. Walking along I found all kinds of wonderful doorways, windows and tilework.

Also in Mafra is the Jardim do Cerco, the gardens of the National Palace/Convent of Mafra. There is a wonderful water wheel that transports water to big bins that store it for watering the gardens and beds. I can still hear the sound of the water dripping. We decided to treat the group to the Palace itself and what a treat that was...I have seen Hampton Court and Versailles and I must say that I was blown away with this palace. In the central axis you will find a Basilica, then two pavilions flank each side and at the rear the monastery of the Order of Sao Francisco da Provincia da Arrabida. We were walking down a very long hallway to the Basilica and I asked what the length of the hall was and was told 232 meters. It took a century to build and 50,000 workers. Over the years 15,000 died building it. Imagine working your whole life on one Palace. Of note, the Library is incredible and a must see. There are over 40,000 volumes here and many were bound in the workshops on site.

On the way back I took a shot of a windmill from the bus, and I am so disappointed to see it is blurry, but I am keeping it just so you can get an idea of what they look like.






  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row