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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In this last 4 days I did a 1300km's tour with my Alfa.

Took a day off from work and with the holiday we had before and the weekend it made 4 days total. So what would be the best thing to do besides driving my Alfa? Drive to one of the most peaceful places I know... that's the little village called Monsaraz. It's situated near "Reguengos de Monsaraz", on the province of Alentejo, in the south of Portugal.

Monsaraz is classified as World Patrimony for its very old age, for its history (since pre history) for the things that kept her alive till today. As many of the interior places of Portugal, it doens't have many people living there and the ones that are still there do agriculture for a living. Cereals and vineyards and are the most important activities and so turism. Even so, the turist that goes there is looking for something special... peace, quiet, good food, excelent wine, discover the huge lowlands and traditions from the old people.

I know Monsaraz from years ago. A Friend of my father had bought an old convent many years ago. He dedicated part of his live to the recondition of the convet to its original look and, as a way of keeping it alive he turned it into an hotel. He did an excelent job. There's luxury inside but, abouve that, there something else that can't be described... it's like history stills living there. Theres only one TV in a living room. It's difficult to get the mobile phones working properly and there's not many maids messing with the guests. We just have to relax...

Unfortunatly the Friend of my father died last year so the business is now up with his soons. I just hope they keep the place as much original as it is now. :(

The center of the little village of Monsaraz is on the top of a hill, inside the defensive halls of an old castle. For the ones that don't know, Portugal fighted for many centuries against Spain. That made the Portuguese to do a lot of castles. Like the sea cost has a lot of fortresses to keep the enimies away.
Alentejo is usually a very hot place, dry and very flat. A couple of years ago, one of the biggest dams in europe was finaly finished - Alqueva Dam . That will hopefuly help to irrigate the soil, making it even more productive. Even if I can't see much things done to that, that's what I hope they do... but we're in Portugal so, after so much work they will probably wont do anything. :rolleyes:

Anyway, the dam made the biggest artificial lake in all Europe. The thing is... huge! There's water everywhere, lakes and lakes and lakes making it a never ending lake!!! The boats business is growing so fast has the water level (now at 148m high).

The Alfa did a great job. Really, I was driving home and I was thinking how good, how pleasent is to drive it. 1300km's always with the aircon on (the air temperature was always abouve 30ºc, with a top of 47ºc Friday and 48ºc (!!!) Saturday. :eek:
Even so, nothing wrong happened. The engine temperature kept a little bit below 90ºc and it ended up with an average of 8.0L. That's actually good because I did motorway arround 130km/h and the rest of the kms I stop many times, sometimes even living the Alfa working while doing some photography.

By the way... before you give up of reading this thread :D I'll let you with some photos I took. I hope you like them and all the comments are welcome. Photography is definitly my big passion... :)

P.S this is just a warm up. I'll have much better photos on my website till the end of this month. ;)

The photos show:

- The way from Santarem to Montemor
- The Temple of Diana (from the Romans in the city ofÉvora)
- Near Mosaraz
 

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Discussion Starter #2
- Near the "Aldeia da Luz" - a small hamlet that was moved and totally rebuilded because of the dam.
- The vineayards of Borba... excelente wine! :cool: :D ;)
- The fields
- The lake
 

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Discussion Starter #3
- Monsaraz in the end of a day
- The convent where I stay
- Monsaraz at night... :)

There's no other place where you can see the sky at night so cleaned. Seems like all the stars came to that place. :)

Enjoy them. :)

P.S. I only notice now... what a HUGE POST!!!! :eek: :eek: :D :)
 

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THROTTLEMAN said:
The Alfa did a great job. Really, I was driving home and I was thinking how good, how pleasent is to drive it. 1300km's always with the aircon on (the air temperature was always abouve 30ºc, with a top of 47ºc Friday and 48ºc (!!!) Saturday. :eek:
Even so, nothing wrong happened.
Did you think something was going to go wrong? :D
Rest assured, if it's going to go wrong, temperature has little to do with it. :lol:

Nice thread, and pictures as always, Hugo.
 

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Thank you Wis! :)
Naaa... I didn't thought something was about to go wrong :D but it was so darn hot... everthing was boiling. :eek: Getting inside the Alfa could be painful if I touched some parts. The top of the gear knob is good to get the "H" maked in your had. :D

I think very high temperatures are very stressful for cars. Specially with the paint of black cars...

P.S. I almost forgot to say... for the 33's lovers, Alentejo is probably the area in Portugal with more 33's!!!! :eek: I never thought there were so many, I mean a LOT! I lost the count... there was a 33 everywhere, red, green, silver, even white!
 

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Excellent Report Hugo ;)

Must be nice to have some vacations at this time of the year ;) :D

The pics are great... as always :D ;)

All the Best

Sérgio

P.S: Vi que tinhas telefonado... só que só vi já passavam das 22h00 :eek: ;) Se puder, hoje telefono-te :D... Um abraço
 

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Absolutly Sérgio, vacations are ALWAYS welcome! :D Besides I don't have classes todays because the school is closed so that people can arrange the place back to what it was before the elections. :D :)
No problem about the call... I'll call. ;)

That's right Ricky, 48ºc. :rolleyes: Can't say it's easy... I think many of you wouldn't stand that temperature. It's really to much.

Thank you guys for the comments. :)
 

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Weird people, those British :rolleyes:
 

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You bet, Sadiki. :D Remembers me Nem. ;)
 

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Hi min Danish ven! :)
Thank you for that link to the LPI. The problem seems to be the way they accept the photos, only in film. :rolleyes:
You're so right Lars, life is to short to explore every place of this huge world. But you know something? The best places are the ones where you find a friend. :)
And it was all my pleasure to share this with you all. :)

Hans, you definitly have a lot of reasons! :cool: :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here's another shot I haven't show before... I took it on the top of Monsaraz, inside the litle fortified vilage. You can see the castle behind... :cool:

That's one of the most peaceful places I know on earth and ending the day there, feeling the air, looking at the cleaned sky makes us feel so close to paradise... :cool: :)
 

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Hugo some fantastic photo shots.

I have to visit your part of the world some time.

For some reason looking at your shots reminds me of parts of Cyprus I have been to in particular near the Turkish border in a place called Faramagutsa hope that's the right spelling.
:D :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you Reuven. I really hope you can manage to come to Portugal someday! :) Even so... I think I'll go down to Aus some day too... ;)
 

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Great photos Hugo - you could pretty much fill 2005 calendar with those photos alone.

Portugal looks like a beautiful place to live. But 48ºc is hot though - it's normal for here during the summer but this country has loads of A/C's - glad to see the Alfa coped with the heat.

When are you going to make them available in high res for us to really enjoy :D
 

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THROTTLEMAN said:
Here's another shot I haven't show before... I took it on the top of Monsaraz, inside the litle fortified vilage. You can see the castle behind... :cool:
Very very very nice picture. Can I place it in the download section of my site (in other words, can you mail me the original)?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
@Pascs: Thank you Pascs. Portugal has in fact some of the most beautiful places I know. Some, not all ;) 48ºc is a bit to high for me. Everything that goes abouve 25ºc is already hot but off course, I lived all my life here so we're prity much used to high temperatures in summer. It's my body and mind that like low temperatures. Strange I know... :D

@Sérgio: Thank you Sérgio! :)

@Hans: We'll see what we'll have for the calendar, right Hans? ;)

In the mean time I'll give Hans permition to put on his facelifted Selespeed web site that photo in a bigger res so you all can download it. ;)

Thanks guys for you appreciation. That's very importante for me. :)
 
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