Exactly one year after that trip, I return from a much broader study of Portugal, north and south, my head reeling after two consecutive months amidst hundreds of antas, circles, standing stones, concentric circles and cup marks on rock and engravings of all sorts. And another muddy, mild and wet holiday in (rock'n')rolling landscape. And the sad thing is, one of the great monuments I raved about last year is gone. The cromlech of Xarez, square in appearance, with a big cosmic menhir in its centre and with the Hill Of Monsaraz in the background, was no longer there. After much mourning and angry banter, to cut a long story short, I stumbled upon it, neatly dissected on a field behind the hill. The reason for this atrocity is another atrocity - (yet) another reservoir in the area. The Portuguese government, like any other sad-old-git government, believes that burning cash on megalomaniac projects or bombing whole villages in a distant country will give them credibility to the masses. Protecting their heritage and aura is not good propaganda. Fuck them.
Funny thing is, though I knew of the Copes' visit to the Almendres circle, I had all this time ignored the fact that the aforementioned Cromlech is featured in the Modern Antiquarian too. Only yesterday, Mrs Fortune 'found' a picture of Dorian and Albany by the cromlech on page 80.
Are we the only ones alive to have been fortunate to have visited this unique site in Europe before it was destroyed?