In Olivenza/Olivença - The Seven Year Itch - CycleBlaze

April 13, 2024

In Olivenza/Olivença

I keep getting further and further behind somehow.  Part of the problem is that we’re staying in so many interesting towns lately.  They hit you up twice - first, there’s the time to look around the town and savor the experience - else why did we bother coming here in the first place?  And then you need to wade through your photos afterwards, decide which you want to keep to help you remember this place, and then publish them so you can find them again some day.  Day after day of this - I tell you, it’s tough!

Olivenza is a beautiful little place, one of the most pleasant we’ve seen in Spain on this tour.  It has a lot going for itself - attractive public spaces, impressive monuments, beautiful sidewalks and plazas with lively tile surfaces that make you want to dance.  And an appealing street scene that comes to life near sundown when the day finally cools down.  Kids playing games in the carless streets, old folks chatting on benches - the usual Mediterranean social scene that I somehow never tire of watching.  It’s like watching the sea - always the same, always changing.

The thing that immediately impressed me on entering Olivenza was how Portuguese it looks and feels.  Not surprising, since it’s only seven miles from the border at the Guadiana River and for much of its history this area was part of Portugal - and in fact it’s still contested territory even though the EU agrees with Spain that it’s theirs now, ever since it was ceded in 1801 as a condition of the Treaty of Badajoz that ended the War of the Oranges, whatever that was.  Portugal claims that the treaty was invalid though, and hasn’t given up the fight yet.  To give a sense of this, here’s a brief history of the place, told from a Portuguese perspective.  It describes the taking of Olivença as ‘the unjust conclusion to an armed robbery’

Whatever.  While they were here though the Portuguese built some beautiful things, much of which still persists.  As did the Knights Templar, who built the fortifications a few centuries before the Portuguese moved in for their turn at control.  It’s a place worth getting to, if you can manage it.

In Olivença, or Olivenza.
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A Macaw!
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The Constitution Plaza and the Ayuntamiento.
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The entrance to the ajuntamiento.
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A plague pillar(?) on Constitution Plaza.
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The western gate to the fortified city, Puerta de la Gracia.
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Santa Maria Magdalena Church.
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Santa Maria del Castillo Church.
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A peek inside only, as a service is on.
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Olivenza is a white town.
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Definitely Portuguese. Reminds me of the chimneys of Moura, not far to the southwest.
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I forget.
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The northern gate, Puerto de San Sebastián.
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Remains of the 13th century fortifications built by the Knights Templar.
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The western gate, Puerto de Alconcel.
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The stuff these walls are made of.
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Scott AndersonTo Patrick O'HaraI was lucky to get it and that it came out as well as it did. The light’s getting a little low for my camera.
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1 month ago
Rate this entry's writing Heart 12
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Janice BranhamI feel you on the back log. Full days and the relentless march of time make it a struggle to keep up.
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1 month ago
Keith AdamsI often found myself in the same struggle to get things posted, not helped by spotty internet connections that would sometimes cost me an hour's work (or more) just as i was ready to save everything. More than once I quit in frustration, knowing I'd likely be awake in the wee hours and could try again.

On the "silver lining" side, in one sense at least, I didn't have as much to write about or try to remember since I wasn't spending time wandering the streets of places where I stayed. My end-of-day routine was therefore much simpler than yours, though it truly was closer to the end of the day: get in, start devices getting charged, initiate wifi transfer of photos from camera to phone. While those things were happening I'd shower and change, come back and check progress. Depending on time of day I might go for dinner first then come back to tackle writing, or on other occasions I'd combine dinner and writing (and once, also laundry for the trifecta).

In other situations where I don't have a good internet connection I write entries longhand in the small notebook I carry, then later transcribe the hard copy manuscript into digital form and upload the photos.

I think you probably shoot way more photos during a typical day than I do, making selection and management that much larger a task.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Keith AdamsI do take a lot of photos! I probably average 100+/day, but most days there aren’t that many distinct subject. The count gets larded up with many shots of the same subject, particularly with birds. Filtering through them really doesn’t take me long though - maybe fifteen minutes/day? It’s the least time consuming part of the work, and takes the least grey matter. If all I did was post photos I’d have no trouble keeping current.
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2 weeks ago