20 April 2018

Fátima and Tomar

This morning we got up early to have breakfast with Colette and Christine before they set off on the Camino and Alan took us to Fátima!
We have no idea when or even if we will see them again. But they promised to stay in touch and tell us of how it is and where to stay!
Alan said that life is full of surprises. Later in the year he is flying to NewYork via Amsterdam with a Dutch airline and returning in November via Paris with a French airline! He would think of them all on these flights. You should know that Colette and Christine had been stewardesses with Air France!

A discussion was also had about croissants as Alan’s had not been cooked properly! He complained and got his money back!

A return ticket was bought at the bus station and then we were off to Fátima.

The journey took an hour and so we were there early before the rush of tourists.

The place is huge and very commercial which none of us liked.

The statue is of Pope John Paul II.

There is a place for real candles so Alan bought some.

Two candles for each of his little families and one each for his two friends that are about to undergo major surgery.

There was soft Gregorian Chant being sung in the background while tourists walked round having their picture taken. Our BBF reminded us that today we were tourists so no singing in church, but we sat and kneeled to pray.

Duty done we wandered around the shrine seeing what there was to see.

We noticed that some pilgrims to the shrine approached it on their knees! Not something our BBF fancied doing!

It surprised us to find part of the old BERLIN Wall here!

This was the entrance to a huge rotund church!

Inside was a large gold mosaic which we thought nice.

Wine loaves and fish to represent the feeding of the five thousand.

Underground were many more chapels and this was one that represented the risen Christ.

After a good two hours of exploring and walking over five kilometres within the shrine sustenance was called for.

Then it was back on the bus to return to Tomar.

Reunited with Rianne we were taken on a Tuktuk tour of a few places of interest.

Our driver was a lovely young woman who did much explaining along the way.

The Knights Templar built the town in the 12 century. The Convent you can also see here was added later.

In the 17th century they built a unique aqueduct to supply the Convent with water.

The aqueduct is unique because it combines gothic arches with Roman ones.

The bend in it seen here was to slow the water down as it came to a filter in the system.

The filter being a simple sump where heavier particles sank!

Here the aqueduct enters the Convent.

In our return to town we had some fine views over it. 

Alan is kicking himself for not stopping to have his photo taken with a statue of Henry the Navigator!

Back in town we went to church!

From here Alan sang the Pilgrims Hymn again, as we are no longer tourists he said.

Refreshments were called for in the form of an isotonic drink and a dry white wine for Rianne.

 A short walk round town to round off the day.

Postcards were bought and written an odd couple spoken to and photographed.

Even a pigeon was considered a good motive! We rather wish we could fly like this pigeon as tomorrow is going to be a long hard day! Buen Camino!

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