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Showing posts from March, 2009

Spring in the valley

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It is obvious that we are officially in the spring. This weekend we had very strong winds that brought the temperatures down, but the green keeps on coming! The leaves are opening, the flowers are blooming - and the sheep on the other side of the valley are pacing up and down happily 'singing' away, to the delight of many of our guests. (If you look carefully you can see a few of them in the lower level in the picture - this is a view from the pool). At times like these it seems like we are really in the country, though we are only 400 meters from the center!

Being Prepared

This week we had guests from Hong Kong - for the first time. They were very nice and very enthusiastic about Sintra and its surroundings. So much so that the 4G of memory in their camera's memory card was quickly filled, and they still had a week to go. Luckily the situation was resolved by our internet house - they used the computer available for the clients and transferred the pictures on to a DVD I provided them with! At the same we had American guests who ran out of battery in their camera while up the Moorish castle. They were very resourceful and asked fellow countrymen they met on the mountain if they could use their memory card on the other people's camera to take the few pictures they wanted to but didn't have a battery for. They did; pictures were taken and a friendship formed.

These two unrelated stories reminded me how important it is to try to be prepared in the Guest House. We do have empty DVDs and a computer with NERO to help you save your pictures if …

Spring fotos

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The Roses are starting to bloom! This is the time of the pink roses, large and small. On the ground where we have the fruit trees we also have old, old roses. Some are the wild bushy-kind, some are nice to cut for vases, but they have all appeared after we cleaned the grounds two years ago. The other picture is a view from the window where I am sitting writing this post.

Pool season is open!

The last couple of weeks we have had three families with children under 10 visiting. Our pittosporums have been popular not only for the great, sweet smell of the flowers, but also for climbing. Even more popular, however, has been the swimming pool. With water of 17 and 18 degrees, it is not a great pleasure for many adults yet, but all the children have spent an enormous amount of time jumping in and out. Followed by a warm shower, needless to say.

The weather has been over 20 degrees every afternoon this week. We have truly had a lovely taste of spring. In addition to the blooming pittosporums, the jasmine has opened up by the pool and the late-blooming fruit trees of peach and cherry are also releasing their scent. Magical! This week the hydrangeas have also opened their leaves quite big, though no flowers yet. It is really difficult to sit by the desk and work on days like this, especially after winter when all this seems so new!

The gardeners have finished pruning the fruit t…

Casa do Valle recommended by L'Express, France

While I was away in February, I read the weekly magazine Styles of L'Express (France). There was an article about Sintra in the spring. At the end of the article, there was the travelers' advice part, of how to get there, where to eat, where to stay. I am pleased to tell you that Casa do Valle was one of the 3 suggestions of Where to Stay, the other two were 5-star hotels. It is good to know that whoever stayed here from the part of the magazine had liked it! Thank you for recommending us.

From the article 'Premiers soleils à Sintra, Styles L'Express, nº3007 of February 2009:

'Où dormir á Sintra:
...Casa do Valle - Charmant bed and breakfast aux ravissantes chambres meublées, avec jardin et piscine...' (p. 59).

It didn't last long

Nearly two weeks of wonderful sunshine - Honeysuckle releasing its wonderful scent, trees and plants are opening their leaves, flowers blooming everywhere. I was gone for two weeks on holidays (that's why there was no blogging recently) and was surprised by the force with which spring was pushing through!

And then came the storm. Heavy, gusty winds, rain and lower temperatures again. Now we are just keeping our fingers crossed that the wind doesn't blow away all the fruit tree blooms, so we can look forward to lots of fruit this year again.