We're off to Tomar for a few days to check out this remarkable city, home of the Knights Templar (Ordem dos Templários). They were a much revered Order (at least by Christians) who participated in the Crusades and guarded pilgrims on their way to/from Jerusalem. Then they fell from grace, the leaders were tortured and executed. Wikipedia has more on why that happened. (Hint: it had to do with someone who owed them money.)
"The Portuguese king, Denis I, refused to pursue and persecute the former knights, as had occurred in all other sovereign states under the influence of the Catholic Church. Under his protection, Templar organizations simply changed their name, from "Knights Templar" to the reconstituted Order of Christ and also a parallel Supreme Order of Christ of the Holy See; both are considered successors to the Knights Templar." (Wikipedia)
We'll be sure to post photos of Tomar this week on our Facebook page and then I'll do a full post down the line.
I posted this on our Facebook page because it's a fun look at Portugal's incredible history, amazing people and unique geography.
Wondering what it's like to wander around Portugal's capitol city and Sintra? Rick Steves gives us a fine tour, complete with lots of yummy food.
Last month I posted a video of a young couple (and their two wee sons) doing a quick tour of Lisbon. This time they're in Sintra and moving just as fast. A short train ride west of the capital, Sintra is filled with delightful castles, picturesque streets and the ruins of a Moorish castle. Travel, Eat, Repeat shows you some of the sites in this town while also sampling their fabulous food. Just be aware -- during tourist season this city is packed with visitors.
We belong to a number of Facebook sites dedicated to people either looking into moving to Portugal, those in the process of moving, or those who have settled into the country. One such a Facebook page is Americans & FriendsPT which shared this really energetic video of two parents and two toddlers tackling Lisbon (and its yummy food choices) all in one day.
Let's be honest: Even when I was twenty-five I wouldn't have tried this. Still, these adults have got it down to a science. And so much food!!! Enjoy!
Porto has many fine historical sites and the Mercado do Bolhão is certainly one of them. It's always a treat to wander the aisles looking at the fresh fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, cheese and flowers. While the original site is being renovated--it will reopen in 2020--a temporary market has been established nearby. But there's more to Bolhão than just that goods for sale.
'For these “descendants of Bolhão,” as they call themselves, the market is home. Graça dos Santos, a fish vendor, sums up the sentiment of many: “My mother carried me in her womb in Bolhão. I was born here, I want to die here.”The traditions they uphold reach still further back.'
Can you read the full article here.
While I was out researching a nearby city (Vila do Conde), I found this way cool site that offers 360 degree views of famous locations throughout Portugal. In this case, various sites in Porto.
I highly recommend you take some time to just browse through these links. Enjoy!
Originally a Roman town, then one inhabited by the Moors, Tomar is a city layered with history. There many sites to visit here, including the Convento de Cristo. It was originally associated with the Knights Templar, until their order was dissolved by the pope in the early 1300s, and at that point it came under the jurisdiction of the Order of Christ. Over the centuries, various Portuguese kings have added their own touch to this architectural masterpiece.
Much has been happening behind the scenes as we move even closer to our departure dates. I'll be updating you on that in a couple days, but first here's a New York Times' article on how to spend 36 hours in Porto. You can bet we're taking notes.
Harold is a former software engineer. Jana is an author. Together they're exploring their new life in Portugal.