Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Get lost! We've got plenty of bread!

This weekend we again borrowed João's car for another getaway; this time our destination was Monção.  It is a small fortified town on the northern Portuguese border on the Minho river; across the river is Spain.  The ancient stone walls are massive and designed to protect the Portuguese from any attacks from the Spaniards to the north.

Almost all of the walls had small covered places for the Portuguese sentries keeping an eye out for those dastardly Spainards threatening to invade.

Our favorite story from Monção, and perhaps its most famous, is from 1368 when the Spanish had laid seige to the town.  They had kept out all supplies to the point that the residents were on the verge of starvation.  At this point Deu-La-Deu Martins baked bread rolls from the last of the town's flour and throws them over the walls to the Spanish below, shouting taunts at them that there was plenty more bread for her to throw.  This discouraged the Spanish and they gave up their seige thinking that they were just wasting their time!  To this day Deu-La-Deu is shown on the town's coat of arms with her rolls, and can be seen in carvings and mosaics all over town.

Monção is perhaps most famous for its alvarinho grapes and the vinho verde made from them.  One of our favorites is named after her - the Alvarinho Deu La Deu.  If you've visited us, you had this one.  It is a staple around here and something that we will miss when we return home.

Like most of the Portuguese towns we've visited, Monção seems to have the right mix of great architecture and homes, wonderful views, and just a bit of crustiness.

Finally, we did find a shop named after Peggy.  In fact, the name is the same as the first nickname I gave her.  Well, not really, but it could have been.  She is super!  Super cute, super funny, super smart, super caring, ...  she is SuperCarnes!


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