The horses were magnificent and very well trained.
All shots were taken inside the arena.
We had a delicious lunch and also walked in the grounds. Cork Trees are everywhere in Portugal. Cork is actually the outer bark of the cork oak tree. The cork is easily stripped off the tree in late spring and summer when the cells are swollen and fragile and tear without being damaged. The tree quickly forms new layers of cork and restores its protective layers. Therefore, no tree is cut down. Cork processing is highly developed in Portugal. I discovered that even hats are made using cork so I had to buy one.
We took a few more photos after lunch.
We arrived at our hotel in Ourem in the late afternoon. Two near-by medieval houses and a historic hospital were renovated to create the Pousada. The Pousada Castelo de Ourem was located on top of a hill with great views in every direction.
In the evening, we went for dinner at the Casa Alta Lodge, a former royal lodge located within walking distance of our hotel. Case Alta, as the locals refer to it had many uses over the year apart from a royal lodge. It was also a finishing school, a tailor's house, the home of John Haffert, founder of the Blue Army and "Carmelot Hall", the seat of the Count Nuno Society.
The lodge has only three rooms but all have stunning views, private bathrooms and wood-burning fireplaces.
Casa Alta is now the guesthouse of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, where Fr. Guilbert Mariani in 2000 leased the premises from the present Minnesota owners, Solare Lusitania Partnership. Fr. Mariani renovated the property as a retreat house. Casa Alta welcomes persons of any faith and prices quoted to stay here are the suggested donations to the "Castelos de Portugal-Casa Alta" a non-profit Association.
We spent quite a bit of time before dinner walking in the gardens behind the the lodge.