24.04.2013 - 24.04.2013
Breakfast at 8 am as usual. Today we had riding lesson in the morning and the afternoon was free for other activities. Yesterday we had decided to order a taxi to Óbidos and later a trip to the Atlantic Ocean near Óbidos.
Today my friend and I rode last of all riders. We had to choose between riding in the paddock or in the ring. We quickly agreed to ride outside in the paddock, now when the sun had warmed up the outside temperature to a nice temperature. I once again got to ride Ramalhete and we did great today. Collected in piaffes and passages, schools and today even canter and tried half-pass in canter. Since Ramalhete was so sharp and well-ridden he really listened to my small aids there wasn’t any problems. By now I had learned to see on Ramalhete’s ears when my seat was wrong. I do crumple my back very easy and as soon as I did Ramalhete twisted his ears as if he was wondering “What are you doing?!?” After our lesson I told Francisco: “I can see on Ramalhete’s ears now when my seat is wrong…” Francisco threw his arms about and said: “Now I believe!” and embraced me.
The cab arrived at the manor at 12.30 and picked us up. I felt pretty safe it was Oscar, the same cab driver who had picked us up at the Airport a few days earlier. We drove for about an hour, passed pear cultures and vineyards and the closer we got to Óbidos the wavier the landscape became.
The Middle Age town Óbidos (capitol of chocolate) is protected by UNESCO and is one of Portugal’s 7 wonders and most interesting settlements. Óbidos Castle is built upon a hill and its high castle wall surrounds the city and consists of many churches, Saint Peter’s Church and Saint Mary’s Church among others, belonging to their own parish. We got out of the cab and passed the huge main gate that was built in 1380 which was ornamented with beautifully painted tiles. We found a restaurant nearby and bought something to eat. The sun was broiling and the big sunshades gave us well-needed shadow. Then we started walking along the cobbled streets through steep narrow alleys and paid Saint Peter’s Church a visit before splitting up into smaller groups walking on our own.
My friend and I walked to Óbidos Castle while the others visited more churches. The Castle was historically functioned both as a military and royal castle whilst during 1950ies it became the first historical building in Portugal to change into a restaurant/inn. My friend and I climbed up onto the castle wall and walked on it for a while. The view was fantastic and you got a great view from up here. The main street in Óbidos is narrow and the souvenir shops are mixed with chocolate and wine stores. I bought a delicious chocolate bar. We also bought chocolate for Francisco as we had promised him. Before we left the town we gathered and bought refreshing ice cream.
Oscar was waiting for us in the cab. We got into the cab and drove to Foz do Arelho, a small town at the Atlantic Coast. Foz do Arelho has always been an ideal holiday resort for wealthy families and you could tell by all the luxury villas lining up. We got out of the cab and a fresh ocean wind came against us. It was barely a beach for tourists. The sand was coarse-grained and the sea ran high. A brave surfer was out looking for the perfect wave and in the bay we noticed a guy kite-surfing. But the majority of us thought it was a nice walk on the beach and to clear your head. I went down to the water and felt the water temperature and it was cold. After an hour we gathered at the cab and drove back to Quinta do Archino. Dinner was served as usual at 8.30 pm. First soup and then lasagna and oven marinated apples for dessert. None of us had a hard time falling to sleep this evening.