I took a cab from Fatima to Tomar and gave my feet a day of rest, mostly to help heal my right ankle where several layers of skin have come off. The cab ride was scary. My aged driver got his cab up to 90 mph while trying to check directions on his cell phone. It’s times like this when you wish you knew simple expressions in Portuguese like “slow down” or “what the hell are you doing?”
I was grateful to arrive alive. Despite taking the day off, I walked ten miles exploring Tomar, which was the ancient Templar center for all of Portugal. The Templar castle is the largest building complex in Portugal. Unfortunately, the main building is closed and undergoing renovation.
The city is also home to Portugal’s oldest synagogue. A museum of Judaism is next door to the synagogue, which after the Jews were expelled from Portugal in 1495 A.D. was used as a prison among other things.
St. Martin’s Church was also a Templar church. It was erected in the 12th century on the site of a 10th century church that preceded it. My feet were grateful for a little respite.
With love and prayers from Portugal,