Monday, September 17, 2012

PORTUGAL Part 2: Obidos, Nazare, Bathalia & Fatima

It’s 6:00am. I looked over the window from my hotel room and saw the shiny rooftops. The purple jacaranda tree-lined street looked gloomy. It rained all night.  It was not the weather I was expecting from Portugal. Since I was already in Portugal I thought I would visit some World Heritage sites. So I signed up for a day trip to visit 3 of the seven Portugal Wonders and a visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady at Fatima. I figured, the clouds would probably dissipate by the time we reached our destination.

Our first stop was Obidos. This fortified village of whitewashed houses and narrow streets has a distinctive feel of a bygone era and medieval atmosphere. It seemed a world away from the coastal region of Cascais and Estoril I visited the day earlier.


Our next stop was Nazar -- a medieval fishing village.  As a sucker for ocean beach, I found this trip to be enjoyable.  I loved the expansive views of the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. 


Before lunch time, we arrived at Batalha Monastery, another UNESCO World Heritage site and a masterpiece in Gothic style with beautiful stained-glass windows.

Finally, we arrived at the world-famous pilgrimage site of Fatima, where 'Our Lady' appeared in 1917. I attended the mass and lighted few candles at the Shrine where “Our Lady” appeared. The Sanctuary Square was so big. According to our guide, it's twice the size of St. Peter's Square in the Vatican and can receive 300,000 visitors simultaneously. 



On our way back, we stopped at Aljustrel to see the houses of the three shepherd children - Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta to whom the vision of Our Lady appeared.



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