Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 19, Portugal - Thursday, Evora

Today, our host Jose at the Casa de Terena drove us all the way from Terena to Evora - at least 70 km. We spent the whole afternoon exploring this very historic town. We did not see any megaliths - but there are some in the countryside which are much older than Stonehenge. However, we did see Roman ruins, Moorish arches around the Centro square, and medieval and baroque churches - also a couple of excellent museums.

We are getting quite used to the cobbled streets and white stone buildings with red tile roofs. All the houses in the Alentejo look like this. Some have been modernized inside and others are almost in ruins. However today we saw our first tourists and tourist shops. Because of the many cork oak forests in the Alentejo, many of the tourist treasures are made of cork - including not just trivets but also hats and purses. We had a few rain showers and were glad we had brought our travel umbrella.

We had a nice simple lunch, delicious tea with a pastry (chocolate), and a truly delicious dinner. My dinner was roast lamb and clams and potatoes with lots of salt, olive oil and garlic. Mike's was a bread based soup with lamb (he thinks it was pork but I'm sure the waiter said lamb) and potatoes - very authentically Portuguese and as tasty as any of the South African dishes made for us by Jose in Terena. Also a sort of Greek salad and delicious cinnamon flavoured dessert.

We are trying to pick up a bit of the language. Our insight today - "Officers Mess" comes from "mesa" which of course means table. At least that's what we think.

Today was our last day in the Alentejo. Tomorrow we catch the bus for Silves in the Algarve where we will meet Julie who set up the walking tours for us. It's hard to believe that we have been here for more than a week.

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