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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

Batalha Monastery

Continuing the theme of mediaeval monuments I wanted to post some pictures the gorgeous Batalha monastery which we visited outside of Lisbon. As you can see it has the same decorative Manueline style that we saw at San Jeronimus in Belem, there were flourishes, curves and decoration everywhere.

This place was enormous with an incredibly elaborate unfinished chapel with flying buttresses below. It was a clear cold day and there were very few other visitors, D. and I had the place to ourselves, fabulous!
The main entrance  is beautifully decorated but now it is unfortunately facing away from the town and towards the motorway. Overall this beautiful structure looks a little like an island floating in the middle of a rather nondescript area filled with outdates souvenir shops and an huge parking lot.
The single story cloister was very peaceful and filled with the sound of water from the Renaissance fountain. The tombs of Portugal's unknown soldiers are housed here along with an impressive honor guard.
I loved the shadows thrown on the walls from the lacy stonework in the cloister. As you can see each arch took a different form.
The unfinished chapel (below) located behind the apse is gorgeous but has no roof.
Here you can see the extraordinarily decorative stonework in the unfinished chapel.
Batalha is a UNESCO World Heritage site and entrance to the church is free, however you will need to buy a ticket for the cloister and the unfinished chapel. Highly recommended for the stone work alone. I took so many more pictures and we both enjoyed a leisurely stroll around.  

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