Sunday, November 4, 2012

Legend of the Almond Trees in Flower, Algarve, Portugal

The Legend of the Almond Trees in Flower

Many years ago, when the Moors dominated Algarve, there was a king who fell in love with a beautiful Nordic princess.  In exchange for sailing in Al Gharb sea waters, teh Moorish king asked the princess in marriage.  The Nordic king wasn't very pleased with this request but he was forced to agree and so his daughter became the Queen of Al Gharb.

The Moorish king loved his wife very much and the court was kind to her but, even so, the princess felt very unhappy.

The king talked to the wise men from his kingdom and asked their advice.  He organised sumptuous dinners and parties in her honour but the princess felt more and more melancholic.  One day, her lady in waiting said to the king "My Lord, whatever you may do, you never satisfy her, because she misses the whiteness of the snow of her country".

The king rode on horseback through the fields, thinking about those words. Suddenly he noticed a tree covered with beautiful white flowers ... "That's it!" - he exclaimed - "I'm going to give my wife a landscape that reminds her the snow of her country...".

Thus, the king ordered his servants to plant many trees like that as far as their eyes could reach.  And so it was done.  After some time on a beautiful day of February, the princess opened the window and was surprised by the view.  In front of her eyes stretched out a white and exuberant landscape similar to the one of her country.  She ran to her husband, embraced him and thanked him the "snow".  In fact, the almond trees in flower looked like snow.

From that day on, the sadness disappeared from the face of the beautiful Queen of Al Gharb.

Algarve, Portugal

unused, from 2012

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The Al-Gharb was the name given by the Moors of Iberia to the modern region of Algarve (in mainland Portugal), and by extension, to most of Portugal, during their rule of the territory, from 711 to 1249.

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