Our morning started with a marvelous breakfast at our hotel, Dom Numo (https://www.dnunoth.com/ ), then a couple of trips back and forth to the car and then we headed off, first in search of a couple of nearby monoliths then onward to Serpa and the annual Feira do Queijo (Cheese Festival).
The lobby of our lovely hotel.
Another shot of the lobby of our little hotel.
Marc, Diane and I waited in the parking lot at the base of the village for the others to arrive and then we headed off.
We saw this real life mens group perform last year in Faro. Here they are (in silhouette) with two new members!!
Here I am on the morning of my 64th birthday, a king in his throne!!
A bright sunny morning as we enjoyed the countryside and waited for our friends. Many benches and chairs placed strategically to allow uninhibited viewing of the surrounding country.
La belle Diane.
Goats in trees….relaxing.
There are several worthwhile megaliths surrounding the peak of Monsaraz and we headed off in search of a couple before moving onward to Serpa.
A bunch of old relics blocking the old relic we came to see!!!
Dolmen – Oliva da Pega
Roche das Namorados: (‘The Lovers Rock’, ‘Fiance’s Rock’, ‘Uterus rock’)
And Serpa, here we come.
A little sheep named Andrea!!
We opted to eat before we headed into the actual festival. Didn’t want to shop on an empty stomach!! Marc and Diane shared this pizza.
Andrea, Warren, Patricia and Gary……pizza, lamb stew, cold beer and good friends.
Mon mari posing for me. He never refuses!
Gorgeous display of mushrooms. Kicking myself for not having purchased any.
If I could only describe the scent as we walked into the festival area. Rich and sweetly scented from the expansive variety of cheeses, meats and vegetables on display. Earthy is probably a good word but infused with other subtle scents also.
Marc and I purchased a square of this gorgeous goat cheese infused with peppers…..it formed the central part of my birthday dinner at home later in the evening.
Creative and cute.
This was a lovely display of handmade dolls in local costume. I politely asked the maker if I could take a photo and she smiled broadly at me and nodded yes.
This is an amazing festival, our second time to visit it. This year they had 44 cheeses – from Serpa, Évora, Nisa, Beira Baixa, Castelo Branco, Azeitão, Redondo, Borba, Estremoz, Rio de Moinhos, Serra da Estrela and, for the first time, a biologically produced cheese. In addition there were sausages, wine, olive oil, olives, honey, tables of sweets, as well as regional crafts. We wandered for a couple of hours then headed for the route home, which for us was exactly two hours from door to door with only stop along the route……
This woman was sitting in the shade at the side of the road, knitting up a storm. What stopped us, was the next photo!!
The previous photos is the owner of this truly incredible house. Not a single inch was left out of her decorating scheme. Marc handed her a few euros after we took photos and the delight and pleasure she displayed was wonderful.
This very creepy looking doll was tied up in the fig tree. hopefully to keep the birds away and not to scare the local children!!!!
What a fabulous two days we enjoyed. Marc had made reservations to take me out for dinner for my birthday but with all the activity and driving I suggested I might like to stay home and simply relax. Always obliging, once home he scooted over to cancel our reservation and instead, marvelous cheeses, a rillette of Porc, Terrine de Canard a l’orange (all of which we picked up at the cheese festival), and a wonderful bottle of wine and a gentle burning fire in the woodstove…….a birthday boy couldn’t have asked for a lovelier evening. Merci mon mari!