Feels special : marble quarry, Estremoz, Portugal

The hole is more than a hundred meters deep. Vertigo never felt so real, I’m literally pulled to the bottom.
How unreal is this place? I can’t seem to make sense if its scale, the bulldozers below look like fragile toys, the tools on the floor seem archaic compared to the task at hand. Are humans really working here?

The area around Estremoz, in the Alentejo, is dotted with marble quarries, this one being the deepest of them. Today we have the chance of wandering there after hours, walking among the freshly cut blocks, stepping in white mud and leaning into the mesmerizing pit, hypnotized by the turquoise waters at the bottom. This is simply incredible.

We didn’t go to the bottom, but that’s actually an option if you visit during work hours and come in winter (it’s at least 10 degrees hotter down there).
These days most of the marble is sold to the Emirates, but you can obviously see it in the old palaces and churches of the region.
This little adventure would not have been possible without our great guide Mélanie. You can contact her at melanie@vagarwalkingtours.com if you’re in the mood for some tailormade Alentejo tour (she speaks French, German, Portuguese and English).
These pictures were taken with a Sigma dp2 Quattro.

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