Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wanderlust Wednesday: Montalegre, Portugal (Part II)

Cows! Cows everywhere!

As hinted last week, here's the second part of my Wanderlust Wednesday session for Montalegre in northern Portugal. These photos are from the second half of the day I spent wandering this beautiful land under an academic field trip. If you haven't yet checked the first part, feel free to do so here!

Montalegre has been one of my very favourite trips ever, especially because of the amazing sceneries that suddenly change from hills of green grass fields to vast plateaus and rugged, mysterious mountains on the horizon. It really reminds me of Middle Earth, with the Shire and the Mountains of Moria making their presence at the same time.  The last part of the trip was also pretty neat- the visit to the Pitões das Júnias Monastery. Although it may not be noticeable through the pictures, the ruins of this old abandoned abbey are located in a closed valley, beside a beautiful untouched stream and surrounded by eerie woods of grey trees covered with lichens. The only way to get to the ruins is to come down the mountain along a steep and rough stone pathway through the fairytale-like forest. An amazing experience.

The ruins themselves are also pretty awesome, even though they are in risk of collapsing nowadays, which is a pity for such a magnificent monument. Please forgive the lower quality in the last few pictures, but those were taken from my old phone at the end of the day. Yes, I've taken so many pictures in one day that my camera's battery ran dry before it all ended! I loved everything about Montalegre. The sceneries, the mysticism, the traditions and the way of living... my oldest brother-in-law is there right now in a business trip and it actually makes me quite jealous! :) Moreover it seems that it's all covered in white these days. I hope I'll be able to come back to Montalegre someday soon, not only to revisit some places but also to meet some others better, like the village of Montalegre itself, the bridge of Mizarela and the Peneda-Gerês National Park! Oh well, I can always keep on dreaming...

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