Monday, October 20, 2014

MONSARAZ PORTUGAL

Monsaraz is a tiny settlement in south-central Portugal that we visited on our way from Lisbon to Evora, the next stop on our tour of Portugal and southern Spain.  The community was important historically because of its location atop the highest hill in the region.  It was occupied successively by pre-Roman indigenous peoples, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, and Jews before being retaken finally by Christians in the Reconquista.  Now this isolated spot is mostly a tourist destination notable for its castle ruins and lovely, brilliant whitewashed buildings.

Here, first, is a (not very good) shot of the castle from the valley below the settlement.  There might be an interesting photo opportunity in the right light, but I was not able to do that in the flat late morning sun.


We spent some of our time scrambling around the castle ruins, as in the following shots.




I did like the following shot of the settlement from the castle, primarily for the two figures in the image that helped to give it context and scale.


After a lunch, we spent the remainder of our time walking the one main street, peering into the village's shops.


And I found myself grabbing a few of the many shots of windows and doors that I took over the course of our trip.




I'm afraid these are too simple to be sufficiently interesting--just not enough of a larger context.  At least the following shot included a candid of a local individual, even if she had her back turned.


And here is another candid of a visitor who appears to be biding his time, waiting perhaps for his wife to finish shopping.


I was intrigued by an outside stairway running up the side of one of the buildings and took the following couple of shots.



Without any hand railing, this would never have passed OSHA standards.

Finally, I took the shot below that I thought worked by largely filling the image with whitewashed walls and red tile roofs.


John

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