Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


The Wedding Present Town; Portugal's most romantic medieval village
All of Obidos has been declared a national monument.
It is known as the "Wedding Present Town" because it was a gift King Dinis gave to Queen Isabel on their wedding day in 1282, but that alone is not what makes it such an extraordinarily romantic place -- what make it one of Europe's most romantic medieval villages are its incredibly picturesque cobblestone streets lined with colourful houses filled with geraniums and bougainvillea, Gothic doorways and windows, whitewashed churches, flowerpots and dazzling tiles -- all encircled by the walls of a 12th century castle. Scaling its 13m (45ft)-high medieval walls is the best way to admire this picture postcard-perfect place.
The main street ("Rua Direita") leads from the town gate (decorated with 18th century tile panels) to the main square (Praça de Santa Maria). It has a beautiful fountain, a 15th century pillory, the Town Museum (with exhibits ranging from archaeological finds to 15-17th centuries sculpture and paintings), and Santa Maria Church. That's where 10-year-old King Afonso V married his 8-year-old cousin Isabel in 1444, with an interior entirely faced with tiles and containing the tomb of João de Noronha, the castle governor who died in 1575. Close by is Misericordia Church (with a fine Baroque doorway), while outside the walls is the Amoreira Aqueduct, built at the behest of Catherine of Austria in 1575

Colour is the name of the game in this little gem of a town

Bright colours and a pride in their town made Obidos a very special place to visit

The local tipple

Óbidos remains a well-preserved example of medieval architecture; its streets, squares, walls and its castle are a popular tourist destination.

It is possible to walk around the whole perimiter of the town via the original walls, not a lot of regard to health & safety with some mighty unprotected drops of 10 meters or more to the roads below--great stuff

Bags of places

Beautifuly maintained cobbled streets

An old bicycle used as a clothes display in a local shop

An old bicycle used as a clothes display in a local shop

The castle and walls of Obidos

The streets of Obidos were a warren of suprises and colours

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Mynydd Mawr

From the saddle of Mynydd Mawr looking towards Snowdon

Snowdon and beyond from the ridge leading to the summit of Mynydd Mawr

The summit of Mynydd Mawr

Mynydd Tal y Mignedd on the Nantlle Ridge
Mynydd Mawr or Big Mountain lies in the Nantlle region and at 698mtr is not very "mawr" at is known locally as Elephant Mountain due to its profile as seen from the north.The summit carries an ancient burial cairn much of which has been used to erect a small open shelter, on this day I climbed up from Planwydd Farn at the western end of Llyn Cwellyn which gives great views on to the Llechog face of Snowdon and on to the summit itself, there ar fine views on the the Glyders and Tryfan beyond too.I undertook the ascent on the 13th of November and despite the date it was warm enough to only wear a T shirt during the ascent, I saw a Red Admiral butterfly on the wing, a huge caterpillar and was buzzed by a Bumble Bee on the summit, the only downside was the howling gusts on the summit ridge and the summit itself, approx 60 mph and almost impossible to stand up at some point.The summit of Mynydd Mawr and its immediate surrounds has witnessed two air crashes, the first being a De Havilland Mosquito on 1st of November 1944 and the second a De Havilland Vampire on the 12 October 1956