A new book came for me today from Amazon.com, rather a used book but its new to my now burgeoning collection of books about the garden of Ninfa. I myself is planning on writing an ebook about it and that's why the books written about Ninfa previously are being left on my door step by Amazon.com. This one that just came today has such magnificent photographs. They are breathtaking. I photographed some of them and here is one.
Fountains and nymphs, this was the background of Ninfa, a magical and extraordinary place. One writer said, 'a medieval Pompeii' and another 'the most romantic garden in the world' are all apt descriptions of this place. I've been so privileged and blessed to have visited.
I can't look at the pictures and not still be thrilled to bits. How can a place evoke such emotions. There are a few of such places in the world, magical and extraordinary. I'm working on an ebook about it. The family it belonged to also has a fascinating history.
While this is not Ninfa but a house , abandoned outside the gates of Ninfa. It was a thrilling moment when I arrived that early morning. I waited outside with baited breath. I have waited a whole year to visit and now I was at the cuspid of my visit. It finally opened and visitors started to trickle in, mostly locals but then a few foreigners including some Chinese students. I told the Chinese students that the English tour will start later but they told me they were students at an Italian University and was fluent in Italian. Oh well! Pardon my ignorance.
I went especially to see the snakehead fritillaries and I saw lots of them. While Magdalen field in Oxford is supposed to be the best place but I arrived 2 weeks late. They were mostly spent. North meadow in Cricklade still has them in full bloom and here was where I was the happiest. There were acres and acres of them, purple ones mostly and some albino ones among them.
Today is the last day of my month long trip abroad. I head home stateside tomorrow and I'm ready. I've collected lots of stories and inspiration and am ready to work on them. I took the train to Whitstable today. It wasn't beach weather, it rained the whole time. For years I had wanted to go to Whitstable and I finally made it there. I had some oysters, a lunch of lobster with a glass of hard cider. Life is good, very good.
Finally on my last day I got to eat this. I tried them from other stores but these are better from the original store. The first time I was here a week ago it was so crowded that I couldn't get near the counter. I bought 2 for 2.20 euros, went next door to Starbucks for an espresso and ate my tarts. Mmmmm they were good. Goodbye Portugal, this is my last day, leave tomorrow for London.
A little known church with the most gold. The carvings are wood but painted with real gold and is in such disrepair. It is so sad to see it the way it is. An unpaid caretaker keeps it opened to visitors and works tirelessly and passionately to keep it opened. If not for the walking tour I took this morning I would never have known about it either let alone be able to see it. This was the best part of today, my last day in Porto and I thought I ran out of things to see and do. I leave tomorrow for Lisbon for 2 days before I leave Portugal altogether. You can google this church and see photos of its past glory!
I haven't been updating this blog. I left Madrid days ago, went to Lisbon, then to Coimbra and this morning I arrived in Porto and will be here for 4 days before returning to Lisbon. I arrived to pouring rain and my suitcase wash;t waterproof. So I have all my clothes laid out. Its a good thing there is no one else but me in this 4 person dorm room. This was my lunch today, fried sardines and tomato rice with a bottle of water costs me 7 euros. It was really good too. My FB page is anne chung 56, google it, its opened to everyone. You can even comment except ask to friend me. I'm very selective about the people I friend with!
I was in Madrid for the sole purpose of heading down to Cordoba to see the mosque-cathedral of Cordoba. I did and it was so amazing. It is so hard to describe it in words. For a lot of the places I've been to, the only way is to be there to experience the size and grandeur of the place. I pray at each church that I will never give up this traveling life. The world is so fascinating.