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Published: November 6th 2013
Today we are off for the holy site of Fatima,and the ancient towns of Obidos, and Sintra. Fatima is about 2 hrs north of Lisbon so we set our early for our destination. Andrew our guide is giving us good background on Portugal and we are enjoying his stories. As we pulled into Fatima, Andrew gave us quick orientation to the holy site and gave us time to explore. We started in the massive new church that seats 9000 pilgrims. This church is very modern and has a very cool architectural design. We stopped by the statue of Pope John Paul who loved Fatima, a chunk of the Berlin Wall ( one of Mary's promises was the downfall of Communism), and a picture of the three little children who received a vision of Mary. The main church on the grounds is large but simple and holds the tombs of these three children. We were fascinated to see that the square between the old and new church is bigger then the square at St.Peter's in Rome and is a church in itself with its own altar. We meandered around in the light rain to see the open air chapel which is on
the site where the children actually saw Mary. Although most people are used to lighting a candle as a prayer, we were intrigued by a special custom here. If you have a specific ailment that you would like a God's help with you can purchase that body part in wax and throw it into a fire in hopes of a cure. We saw random legs, arms, and heads being carried around the site, which will later be deposited into the fire. It's a bit creepy. My mom and I both lit some candles as prayers and then headed back to the bus. Our next stop was Obidos, which is a walled city. Upon arrival in the city, Andrew gave us a quick overview of the city and then set us out on our own. Our first stop was to climb the very high ancient wall around the town and try to walk part of the way around the town. The views were magnificent. Google Obidos, Portugal to see this spot. We peeked in a few shops and grabbed lunch from a tiny grocery before heading back to the bus. The last stop of the day was Sintra, which was another
beautiful little city. This city was the summer home of Portuguese royalty for centuries.We toured the palace and were pleasantly surprised to see the grand furniture, the extensive tile work, and the massive kitchen. We saw the bedroom where Prince Alfonse the sixth was imprisoned for years by his brother who wanted the throne. The town was very quaint and we were able to explore the tiny streets. Upon arrival back to our hotel, we took a quick snooze before dinner. Tonight, we made arrangements to have dinner with another mother/daughter duo on our tour. It was very surprising to me to meet the daughter who also graduated from Clarkson University on this tour. She is a couple years older then me and is a lawyer in Houston. She and her Mom have recently started traveling to Europe together, so we shared travel memories. We walked into the lovely town of Cascais for dinner. Andrew recommended we try the Chicken Piri Piri, which is spit roasted chicken with a very spicy sauce. It was delicious. After dinner, we meandered thru the quiet streets of the town on our way back to the hotel. I was able to take some lovely
night photos of the castle and waterfront area. We tucked into bed early, as tomorrow is going to be another long day.
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