Obidos: Cobblestone Streets of Magical Charm
If you have diabetes, I would caution you about visiting Obidos! Walking down the small, winding cobblestone paths, one is enveloped in a town that is sweetness and charm on steroids. This town was even given as a wedding gift from King Dinis in 1282 when he knew his bride to be, Queen Isabel was enamored with this very small city in Portugal. Does the word, "Fairytale" come to mind?
The Portuguese history of Obidos is woven with the Romans, Moors and the Knights Templar. There is a 12th century castle with a perfectly preserved wall surrounding the city and a double arched main entrance gate with beautiful azulejos tiles retelling the story of the Passion of Christ. Here there was a guitarist greeting all the tourists (and there are many!).
With only a short time to visit, I decided to forego the scaling of the wall and went with walking the basically two main cobblestone streets. The streets look as if they are wrapped in blue, yellow and red ribbons!
I was told that I must try the Ginja de Obidos, which can be found on the Main Street, Rue Direita. The finest very sweet cherry liqueur ( 100% pure natural liqueur without dyes or preservatives) can be easily found here. It originated in the 17th century with monks who combined Morello cherries and brandy. They drank it as an aperitif after dinner, but through the years, producers did more, combining more creativity with more sweetness. More is always better right?! Now, people can drink it from a small chocolate cup with a cherry and the liqueur! It is good for the environment too because there is no waste! One drinks and eats it all! Although early, I couldn't pass it up and the sweet warmth went down so smoothly and the dark chocolate melted in my mouth! (History of the Ginjinha).
In staying with this theme of sweetness, one stop should be the Obidos Chocolate House also. The owner could not have been nicer and I could have easily have spent the rest of the day right here overdosing on everything chocolate. If you click on their Instagram Link above, you will completely understand why! What is not to love about a town that hosts an International Chocolate Festival every April?
On the walk, an appreciation for charm now came flooding in! Shops, homes whitewashed with climbing bougainvillea bursting with the most vibrant magenta-purple were around every turn. If you see a shop with a sign that says, "Artesenato Portugues", walk in to see the traditional local crafts and support the artists in the area.
This would be a town I would love to spend a weekend at staying at a B&B. One hour just made me so want so much more time!
Oh the "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh" of travel!