Monday, October 16, 2006

Legends of the countryside

Saturday was a glorious summer day - it was so sunny, so clear, so warm, so was probably the best day of the year, honestly. The best day to go to the countryside.

I went to a country house near Monção, in a region on the very top north of Portugal. Monção literally means monsoon (although it hasn't anything to do with it, apparently, it derives from Monsanto...go figure!) and this is a region with a micro-climate that produces a very special kind of white wine Alvarinho - it is actually called green white wine because it isn't very matured. Wikipedia says it is known for its floral and tropical aroma and it has more alcohol than the rest (up to 12%) so I'm taking their word for it. (below you can see the vineyards)

Monção being separated from Spain only by a river was obviously an important place during the many wars we had with the spanish through the centuries. Around 1386, the village was surrounded by the spanish troops and there wasn't much more food to feed people. The governor of the village was away and his wife (Deuladeu Martins) was in charge. People were getting desperate, so she decided to gather all the bread they still had left and throw it to the heads of the spanish. She told them if they wanted more they could ask her because there was plenty more. The strategy worked because the spanish thought, if they had plenty to eat, they wouldn't surrender soon, so they gave it up and went away. The woman became the heroin of the region and the symbol of the city is of a woman holding up a piece of bread.


Anonymous said...

No, I must protest. You can't keep this up, all this posting of my favorite places (I'm a Monçao fan). I'm setting a limit to my saudades, and the limit!

Or maybe not...please keep reminding me of my saudades...that whole bittersweet thing is nice sometimes. :-)

Devil Mood said...

lol I'm so sorry, Kim, I didn't know you were a fan ;)
You should've been there, it was such a terrific weather and we ate a lunch cooked in a traditional oven. Ok, enough of saudades now, you've got your Lego and all sorts of beautiful things in Denmark :)

DayByDay4-2Day said...

If I wasn't such a lazy painter lately I would surely ask you for that photo of the window to paint. Well if you feel like sending anyways please do.


fb said...

I'm enjoying the virtual tours that you're taking us on recently.

Whilst I really enjoyed being surrounded by 44,000 strangers at Anfield, I can also appreciate the peace that you can find in the country...

Oh to get the balance right!

sophie said...

What a beautiful series of
photos - i really love the
one with the window.
I would love to curl up there
with my green wine and read:)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful travels lately :) I surely need travel trips from you, because I love that these places are not filled with people. If you were here, there would be a silly tourist hat peeking into the frame on every one.

Devil Mood said...

Day: Of course,it's done!

FB: Thanks, I'm happy that I've been able to show you these places as well. It's very different environments indeed - one can onl jump from one place to another hoping to find that balance.

Sophie: Absolutely, it's a lovely place to read. There were a lot of people there on saturday so it wasn't so peaceful but usually you can only heard birds and little else.

Stephanie: lol I can imagine. My family was around but I managed to take the pictures when the places were deserted.

Cathy said...

Those are beautiful photos.
I am glad to see you are well, my friend. I still have a package for you sitting in my office, waiting for a spare moment for me to write you a proper note. xo

Scholiast said...

Beautiful place!

Devil Mood said...

Cathy: Oh thanks and don't worry about that - I know how much you have on your plate right now. Take care!

Scholiast: :) It is.