Photographs by David S. Rose
Written by Marilee F. Rose
continued from "Lap of Luxury"
the former monastary that was started by the wife of the first king of Portugal Afonso Henriques. There are choices for the rooms at this pousada. There are very modern rooms in the newer wing, but there are also rooms that fit the period in the original building. Our favorite place to spend time is the large covered porch with the fountain in the middle overlooking the grounds and Mont Penha. We would bring our evening or afternoon drinks out to the porch and enjoy some quiet time. The grounds are a wonder, with little grottos and hidden gardens. There are hidden garden pools and statues, beautiful. The food here is very good and the staff fun to talk to. They will go out of their way to help you find things that you may want to see or attend. A couple of years ago the Portugal football team stayed here. This is a wonderful place to stay while exploring the area. The Castelo de Guimaraes is the castle where King Afonso I was born and in the tiny church, just below the castle, is the baptismal that he was baptized in, all carved out of stone. While in the church, if you look on the floor, you will see the tombs of knights that kept Portugal safe from the invading Spanish and the Moors. While we were there we decided to visit the Citania de Briteiros. This is one of Portugal’s most impressive archeological sites. The Citania de Briteiros is an iron age settlement from the 4th century attributed to the Celts. It sits high on a hill with views of the surrounding area. We also visited the Paco dos Duques, the palace of the Braganca family before they moved to Vila Vicosa. At one time it is said that Salazar made the Paco dos Duques his home. There is a small museum inside the palace and when we were there we saw a contemporary art exhibit.