Scouting Portugal on my bike has been a marvellous adventure. Sometimes I imagine I am Don Quixote de la Mancha riding the fields searching for new adventures to prove his bravery to his beloved Dulcinea. Other times – most of the time, really… – the riding and the landscape take over and occupy all of my thoughts, which basically means that I’m in heaven. My mind simply shuts down. Quoting Sri Nisagardatta Maharaj, “you need nothing to be happy, but you need something to be unhappy”…
Now and then I stop to drink water from a fountain, take some pictures, lay on the grass listening to the birds, the cows or the sheep. No cars, no people, no noise but Gaia’s singing (Gaia or Mother Earth, the living spirit of our planet).
Back on the road the wind brushes my face and whispers in my ears. So free! Surely this is not a feeling uncommon to bike lovers.
This time I’m riding towards Castelo de Vide. As I get closer to this beautiful village in northern Alentejo, the castle walls start drawing the horizon, imposing their presence. A few centuries ago this view must have been pretty intimidating. Guards on the castle walls lurking down ready to throw some arrows at you…
But now there are no more castle gates. Only the walls and a steep curvy road. And when you finally reach the centre, the village opens in all its splendour, greeting you with all the history and memories carved on the walls of ancient buildings. It’s almost like having a medieval experience first hand! The Jewish quarter, dating from the middle ages, is very well preserved, namely the synagogue and the fountain. The whole town is beautiful and charming.
I slept at Inatel’s hotel, right in the centre facing a very pleasant park. And what a dazzling place it was! I strongly recommend spending the night there. Stylish, mixing modern with medieval, very comfortable. It takes the feeling of being back in medieval times a step further.
Castelo de Vide is definitely a must see. Enjoy!
Link to photo gallery:Castelo de Vide