|Cabo de São Vicente, photo courtesy of Sagres.net|
Now we picked Sagres today because I read that there is a lighthouse there, and I must have a picture to add to my collection! There is some great history there too. "Henry the Navigator" built a fortress on the windswept cliffs and, according to tradition, a school of navigation and shipyard.
Little remains of Prince Henry's original fortress: the walls that can be seen are part of the 17th century fort.
Once inside these ancient walls, we were able to walk around and do some exploring. Still visible is the giant pebble wind compass, the "Rosa dos Vento" 141 feet in diameter, said to have been used by Henry.
The only building still surviving and thought to have been around in more or less its present form in Henry's day, is the starkly simple little church within the fortress, "Nossa Senhora da Graça".
I actually loved how they have not tried to restore the canon's that are placed strategically around the parameters of the fortress to fight off intruders back in the 1700's.
But with all this history, the thing that amazed me the most were the fishermen who come here to try and get their catch for the day. They actually pay the fee to enter and then pick their spot on the cliffs. Now maybe this would be okay on a nice calm sunny day. But today the rain is pouring down and the wind is howling, and these guys are standing on the edge of the cliffs to catch a fish! You gotta want it bad!
We fought the rain as we walked out to the point where I could see a little lighthouse. Not very impressive, but a lighthouse none the same.
But this is the lighthouse I wanted to get a closer look at.....Cabo de São Vicente!
This lighthouse has provided the guiding beam that safely directs the hundreds of ships that pass the Cape every year from the inevitable destruction that would otherwise occur.
Bummer that it was raining so hard and we were already soaking wet, because I would have loved to have taken a walk around this beauty!
Well it's time to head back to Ferragudo and get dried out for tomorrows adventure!
If you would like to see more pictures of our day, click here, "Where's Debbie" and then on the album "Sagres"