After having had a structured day yesterday planned by somebody else, today we "floated along". After a leisurely breakfast we walked into town again. Well, our hotel is right at the edge. No problem.
We had heard that a soldier will show you around in the Fort ruins on Monte Brasil if you ask at certain times. We are on our way to be there at 11 am.
This is the gate the bus made it through yesterday ... surprisingly!
It was just us and two ladies from Barcelona. With their Spanish and the soldier's Portugese they understood each other. The soldier didn't know any English but one of the ladies translated for us if we had a question. We had been given an explaining sheet in both languages though. The fort was begun in 1592 and restored in 1642 as a protection against pirates attacking the ships coming from the rich colonies in South America, in particular Brazil for the Portuguese.
You could read about the Fort HERE!
The prison toilet!
Trying to walk out of prison again. You had to guess where to step.
I had never seen carved lava stone.
The church. Until recently there had been regular services here, but the priest died and there is no replacement. Now there are only soldier's weddings or so.
Every door we went through our soldier had to unlock and lock again. Except we couldn't go into the chapel because the (modern) key had broken off in the lock!
Bye-bye! Outside again.
And now ... time for a "cafè com leite".
We try to go to the market, but we were too late. Packing up. It's a shame. I love European markets. Oh well....
So we went to the blue church at the harbor. Closed at the moment. Well, we wanted to walk along the pier the other day, so we do it now. We have seen so much already. It's nice to just float along.
Very nice view from there. There is no bridge of course so we walk the same way back. James (bless his heart ha-ha) sees a sign way up on a house announcing its another embroidery shop. Later.
The blue church in the harbor is open now. There is a very nice lady who tells us it's free for seniors and after looking at our passports to make sure we were over 65, gives us a brochure with some English to read. Self guided tour. At the end James has one question and she talks like a waterfall. TMI. But she was so nice.
Our city guide tells us that the Fort on the other side of the harbor is not for visitors but there is a hotel in it. So we decide that they most likely will not throw us out if we have a peek. It's a steep way up but we have a wonderful view from there.
After that we just wander through the interesting streets. In this church the altar ladies and the priest were busy rearranging. We sat for a while. It was nice to watch.
It is our third try to visit this convent. The first time we found out the hours and it was closed then. The second time it should have been open but ... we didn't know we were supposed to ring the bell. It is still an active closed monastery.
When you ring the bell a young lady (in regular clothing so not a nun) lets you in. She sits at a desk and works on her filet crochet. She calls a nun. She speaks some English, the nun doesn't but we can converse with hands and feet.
The nun is very nice, takes a little money and gives us each a brochure. She leads us around with her big bunch of keys.
Awesome! We didn't expect this!
There are two huge blue and white tile pictures on each side (4 total). So much to see.
The back! See the upstairs loft? That's where the nuns worship. The public downstairs can hear them (probably singing beautifully) but not see them.
We are allowed to look upstairs too since there are no nuns. See the organ?
Small part of the ceiling.
On Sunday at a different church (after the procession there) we were told that on Good Friday they would process with Jesus in a casket. This church probably does it too from the looks of it.
Back in the entry room. We talked about crocheting and other handcraft. I should send them a picture of my bobbinlace pillow and some of the lace Chrismons. It was fun. I really had to admire the young ladies filet crochet work. She did fine work. They happily posed for a photo.
Self inflicted by James since he was the one seeing the embroidery store across the bay. So we went uphill again to find it. They had samples in the entry and I did buy something. I liked most things in the first store better though.
We walked a different way back to the hotel since we wanted to see whether the Internet was really so good at that Burger King. We had an ice coffee each but the internet wasn't worth it. I am getting further behind with my blogs. Oh well. If that is the only thing not good with this vacation we hit the jackpot.
Almost back at the hotel we see these flowers. The bud is the size of a child's fist and we found a few open but it was late in the day and they look a little wilted.
The hotel from the front.
We didn't really have lunch so we decide to go out for dinner. It's nice to be a bit hungry which doesn't happen often.
We start walking towards town center but when we pass this one we study the menu and decide why walk further. Restaurant Adega Lusitania.
We start with the traditional vegetable soup.
I have fish again. Yummy!
Ha, and dessert! James has a brownie type with whipped cream and I have what supposedly is THE OTHER traditional local dessert besides Dona Amelia (which was also offered). The waiter writes it down for me "Careta" but I can't find it anywhere when I google. It's made with almonds.
And that was a full day! The walk to the hotel feels good. Night night.