Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Skippable Obidos

We had been long forewarned that Obidos is only worth half a day. Even then, we thought we could have skipped Obidos. The village is minuscule. Every inch of the main drag is purely for tourist "services". Furthermore, the arrival rate of tour groups is alarmingly high. The difficult terrain of the place predisposes a slow service rate. As a result, I am always having to walk around people. Even if you subtract all the shops and tourists, Obidos is still a far second to Marvao: the hill not as high, castle not as formidable, setting not as dramatic, town not as picturesque.... Obidos utterly failed to charm me, John even less.

The only redeemable part of our visit was that we were in town by design on Good Friday. In the evening there was the Via Sacra, something between a walking church service and a procession (see John's photos below). At night there was a candlelight procession with floats. While small, both events seemed authentic, i.e. not for the tourist service. For the candle light procession, street lights outside the church and along the route were turned off completely. A few houses along the route had candles in the windows or doorways. Scouts held candles to light the way, in addition to all the candles in the procession -- nice touch!

View towards our guesthouse...
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

...which had an updated traditional kitchen at our disposal.
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Inside Santa Maria. Check out the tile on the walls and the painted ceiling.
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

And the Misericordia. Check out the images near the altar. Can you see the prone Jesus lying under a shroud in front of the altar?
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

The Obidos Castle with a Yellow Submarine for photos. Is that touristic or what? ;-)
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

View of Santa Maria from the City Walls.
Obidos, Portugal

View from above the City Gate looking to the Castle. City Walls on both sides.
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Obidos has a rather large parking lot. Almost as big as the town itself. Hah! Cut in half by the old aqueduct!
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Lots of bacalhau (dried cod) for sale in the local supermarket.
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Main street.
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

The Via Sacra.
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Led by the Scouts.
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

The Good Friday procession started at Santa Maria with the street lights off. The ambient light in the photo below is from candles and camera flashes.
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

Along the procession route, a woman carefully prepares candles and a bible in her window.
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

The procession proceeds by candlelight down the main street, now empty of tourists.
Good Friday - Obidos, Portugal

No other photos of the procession. A solemn affair. Photography did not seem appropriate.






2 comments:

Kathy said...

Wonder when the yellow submarine showed up? It was nothing like that crowded when I was there, but it was 2004.

Sun-Ling said...

@Kathy, that's how I imagined Obidos used to be, a tranquil little town, a few visitors here and there. Alas, no more.