Portugal & Bulgaria 2010 travel blog

Roman temple in Evora

back of the temple

temple columns

me melting in the sun

cathedral from my hotel

main square

the bone church

rows and rows of skulls

skull closeup

warning sign on the wall near my hotel

narrow street

Europe, where the men wear pants that fit

arrived in Evora today to 99 degrees. Finding my hotel was a bit stressful, in this old medieval town, with narrow, winding one-way streets. The directions I got from the hotel were a bit confusing, and I ended up driving around in circles for 45 min. before calling them to get better directions. I don't know how I got there, but eventually I did. I immediately set out to check the info. in the book, doing our recommended "welcome to Evora" walk and checking all the museums and several hotels until I was ready to drop. I got back to the hotel completely soaked, took a shower and a little siesta, then worked on the book file until it was time to go look at restaurants.

Tonight I ate at a typical "Rick Steves" restaurant; small, away from the tourist hordes, and filled with locals. The waiter suggested a tomato soup, which was more like a stew, made with big chunks of tomato, bell pepper, hunks of thick bread, and topped with a fried egg. There was dish of assorted pork parts to add to it; several types of sausage, and what I'm sure was pork ears - both crunchy and chewy, kind of greasy, and which made me gag. I did try them at least. Except for the pork ears, it was the best tomato soup I've ever had. The local Alentejo wine here is fantastic. I told the waiter I liked it and heard it was the best in Portugal, and he said "Oh no, I have to correct you sir, Alentejo wine is the best in the whole world". They poured it from huge, earthen ware jugs, which lined the back wall of the restaurant. Other than one French couple and one Spanish family, I was the only tourist there. The place was packed with Portuguese families, all staring at me like "what the heck is this strange blonde guy doing here?"

After dinner it was still Africa-hot, but there was a nice breeze, so I walked up to the ruins of a Roman temple, in the highest part of town, and sat on a bench in front of the ruins, lit up in flood lights with a full moon behind it. The breeze felt so nice, I could have stayed there all night, but have files to edit, so back to the hotel I go. Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer, uff da....

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