When in Óbidos, Ginja!

This medieval town has buildings dating back to the Moor occupation in the 12th century. The main gate into Óbidos contains a beautiful tiled chapel that overlooks the main walking street. The blue and white 18th century tiles (Azulejo), depict the passion of Christ. The Porta da Vila passes through two low-rise entrances that were staggered to prevent a direct charge and low enough to inhibit mounted attackers. The wall completely encircles the town and it is possible to walk the entire perimeter. There are wonderful views over the terracotta tiled roofs and white painted houses of the town. The entire walk is filled with trip hazards, slippery stones and almost no safety railings. We opted not to complete the entire circuit. After the wall experience, we stopped for the obligatory Ginja. Ginja de Obidos is a cherry liquor that is produced within the Obidos region. Our drinks were served in small chocolate cups with a a soaked cherry on the side. After drinking the Ginja, we ate our chocolate cups.We stumbled upon a few unique book stores in ancient spaces. Mercado Biológico (the market bookstore) occupies the wine cellar of an old manor house and doubles as an organic market. You can enjoy the fruits of Portugal and the books in Portuguese. The other, Livraria Santiago, occupies a 12th century church. Books will always be safe behind Óbidos thick castle walls.

We walked off the tourist drag and found our way to the Castle. We climbed the wall again for a different view and then went behind the Castle to see the gardens. The aqueduct was constructed in the 16th century to transport water to the town. The project was funded by the queen of Portugal (Queen Catherine) and she sold her lands that surrounded Óbidos to pay for the construction. There are larger aqueducts in Portugal but Òbidos aqueduct is fully intact.When in Portugal, visit Òbidos and drink a chocolate cup of Ginja. 

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