World Heritage Sights
Trip Start Mar 01, 2014
45Trip End Apr 05, 2014
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Convento dos Capuchos is a remote Franciscan monastery founded in 1560 where friars lived in tiny, tiny rock-hewn cells lined with cork from the nearby trees. The cork from a type of oak tree nearby, lines the doors, ceilings, walls, providing a layer of insullation in each cell, kitchen, greeting room. The friars slept on the floor, their cell no bigger than 4 x 6 ft. Huge boulders guard the entrance and the monastery is built around this landscape, around, over, under, beside these huge boulders. Every path incorporates the land, disturbing nothing
It is a spiritual place and how we got to be the only four individuals to walk through this convent and it's woods alone and get lost in our thoughts for close to two hours, was a gift. At the entrance there is a cross with the outline of the Image of St. Francis of Assisi, still after all this time. Donna and I had a very spiritual experience in Italy where St. Francis saw the Stigmata, I couldn't help thinking about that day. It was good to think about the power of ones faith here, to get lost in the beauty of your surroundings and appreciate, to say a prayer of thanks.
We are all a little quiet as we leave, we are amazed. Little did we know we were headed to yet another site that would give us pause yet again, to reflect.
Cabo da Roca is an impressive cliff, 459 feet high that marks the most westerly point of the
European mainland. It was calm there today with not much surf from the Atlantic. The water shimmered in the sunshine, waves curled around the boulders below, but it was quiet except for birds and the chitter chatter of other sight seekers.
Turf like ground cover survives in sandy hard soil, bearing the brunt of the winds. Loaded with flowers it was like very fat, on steroids, Portulacha, not sure if my spelling is right there, but a flower that is in most of Canada's rock gardens and certainly was on our point on the French River when Auntie Dean was in residence. When in full bloom there will be a carpet of colour.
We leave to find a place for lunch, it is around 2:30. Our timing is perfect. As we head to the car there are Busses unloading. Young students spill out, there is a cacophony, the noise level is unbelievable. Are they excited about being here or are they excited about being with each other? I think seeing the water may calm them down.
We have seen so far today, two of the sites within the Sintra Hills. The Sintra Hills was listed as a World Heritage Site, Cultural Landscape in 1995. Later we will go to the Palace of Pena and the Park, another.