Thursday, 29 August 2013

Castelo de Vide, Alentejo - Portugal (cont.) - The 24th and 25th of August 2013


It is said the wealth of Castelo de Vide's traditional cuisine is reinforced by the sheer antiquity of its culinary customs, which seem to combine popular traditional recipes with Jewish-Marrano cooking and the use of herbs. Castelo de Vide is home to some unique dishes I didn't try, such as sarapatel (a spicy pork or lamb stew), cachafrito (fried lamb of kid) and molhinhos (lamb tripe rolls).

Other culinary highlights include alhada de cação (dogfish garlick stew), bacalhau dourado (golden salt codfish) and migas de batata (potato crumbs), as well as a vast choice of game dishes.

Local cakes and deserts include queijadas (curd cakes), boleimas (a fusion of Jewish traditions based on unleavened bread) and encharcada de nozes  (a wall nut and egg desert type).

I did try "alhada de cação", "encharcada de nozes" and "queijadas de requeijão" , all of which I found to be really delicious.

After having had an early dinner I strolled around the town back streets, coming across a rather interesting building I believe to have either been Casa Magessi (known as yellow house) or a Governmental building of some sort  (though I may be wrong), as well as the Municipal swimming pool and outdoor sports ensemble before I walked back into the main street in time to see the sun go down.

The following day I got up fairly late and decided to walk in the opposite direction though not too far from the hotel. I unexpectedly came across a fountain which was built under the reign of D. Pedro II, whose water is believed to be particularly rich in chloride, bicarbonate and potassium, according to some people who were precisely collecting water from it.

A little bit further on a small church and a cemetery. Since the untimely death of my daughter I have "developed" a different attitude towards cemeteries and I can now stroll around them as if to reflect on life. I was once told that the best place to ponder on life happens to be closer to those who have already "gone", whether it brings about anything worth pondering on I don't know, but I do know I spent some time around having soon concluded that those having been killed in the long lasting colonial war were "assembled" together in one particular area. 

For some sort of unknown reason it brought back memories of the past when religious single teenagers and spinster in Portugal were encouraged to become "godmothers" to those young soldiers who had left and had nobody to write or send a message to. I also became a "war godmother" and was among the very few who later got to know the one I had written to over the period of six months when he returned alive from Mozambique.  

The last moments in Castelo de Vide before getting on the bus back to Lisbon were spent photographing a rather meaningful monument praising the notable doctors and researchers born in the town and who in various ways influenced the course of medicine in Portugal, as well as another interesting looking fountain in the centre of the town.

I slept most of the way having woken up as we were driving along bridge Vasco da Gama and getting into Lisbon, where I "captured" a rather interesting image of the sun going down.

Despite the fact that this trip's purpose ended up not  being what it was supposed to I did really enjoy it and  feel there will be many more trips on my own ... I do enjoy travelling with and within myself.

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