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9/26 - Today we rode from Marvao down to Castelo Vide, another medieval town with

a castle on top, and then up to Senhora da Penha, a small chapel on the top of a hill

that presents a marvelous view of Castelo Vide.  Then it's onward to Flor de Rosa,

a castle, a convent, and a palace, our lodging for the night!

                   

When we woke up, we discovered it was a beautiful sunny day, so we decided to

take another tour of Marvao and take better photos of the town and castle.

                   

 A leisurely walk around the ancient village — best done along the top of the wide,

flat ridge of the stone walls — is reason alone to visit. It will put you high above the Alentejo

region’s scrubby, sun-baked plains and offer exquisite 360-degree views.

                   

Whether you look toward Spain, 10 miles to the east, or west toward Lisbon, you’ll gaze upon

expansive, wheat-colored fields that give way to clusters of homes and green-and-granite hills.

                   

The 13th-century castle is the town’s main attraction — its mazelike passageways,

and turrets that jut out over the cliffs like fixed, angular wings.

                             

The bartizans offer stellar views of the Serra de Ossa and Serra de São Mamede mountains,

and miles of tilled farm patches that blanket the earth like a crazy patchwork in various shades of jade.

                     

Oh well, tour is over. It's time for the briefing of the day's cycling and sights.

                   

Our first stop was the picturesque town of Castelo de Vide.

                  

Castelo de Vide is described as the best preserved medieval town of Portugal. 

                   

In the past it was an important stronghold on the Spanish border,

now it is a sleepy town with a wonderful charm, where time seems to stand still.

                   

                   

We walked around the square, the church, and enjoyed pastries at the cafe.

                   

Then on through beautiful hills as we look back at Castelo de Vide

                   

Lots of Cork Oak trees, freshly stripped. Love the bright red color!

                   

Now for the climb to Senhora da Penha, a small chapel on the top of a hill with a great view.

                   

The chapel was built in the 16th century, with a lovely tiled interior.

                   

Yes, another great picnic before riding on to Flor de Rosa.

                   

We have arrived at our castle for the night, Flor de Rosa.

                   

A castle, a convent and a palace, built in different periods, were the origin of this

 ecclesiastical architectural work of outstanding harmony.

                   

The former Knights of the Order of Malta's monastery, is surrounded in medieval mystic.

                   

Flor da Rosa Pousada manages to combine the genuine characteristics of the convent,

highlighting them with an architectural project, which although modern, entirely respects its origins.