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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Beja and the Sierras

Beja castle

Next day we headed south to Beja, which is a neat hill town which we entered finding the castle free to wander through and the nearby church open.

Map of Beja showing the old city wall

View from the castle

The nearby church

Interior of the church

It contains many porcelain tile 'paintings'

We then drove down its narrow winding one way system and became completely lost fruitlessly looking for the bus station to try to get a ticket to Spain, taking at least an hour to find our way out through enclave suburbs, passing the same point several times over (something that has been repeated in just about every Portugese, Spanish and Italian hill town since!

Beja streets

Santa Maria

San Salvador

The old city wall

From Beja we traveled south and then west crossing into the two ranges of Sierras driving up into high wooded country with great views from the summit of the passes.

Entering the mountainous area of Sierra de Monchique

The summit of the sierra on the way to Monchique

A hill town in the mountains

We eventually wound through the hills to the hill town of Monchique which serves the alpine district in terms of silviculture and other mountain economies.



The town square

From there we wound around the edge of a second range of Sierras with long-distance views all the way of the narrow stretch of coastal lowlands, finally coming down to the coast.

Coming down to the coastal plain from the Sierra de Espinhaço de Cao

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