Portugal & Bulgaria 2010 travel blog





Roman bridge

city park

ruins of Tavira castle

park inside castle

Tavira church

Today was a long driving day, about 3.5 hours to the Algarve, the southern coast of Portugal. The Autostradas in Portugal are fantastic and I've hardly encountered any traffic this whole trip. They have gas stations and restaurants at rest stops right off the freeway, so you don't really have to get off and drive into a town to get gas or something to eat, which is pretty nice for travelers. There are signs right before telling you when the next one is, and they are spaced out every hour or so.

Some of these rest stops have tent-awnings covering some of the parking spaces to keep your car cool when you go into the restaurant. A Spanish woman pulled into the parking area horizontally, taking up 5 parking spaces. When she got our of her car a Portuguese man standing nearby said (in Poruguese - "Excuse me, could you please park correctly" The Spanish woman just stared at him, threw her hands up and said "No entiendo" and started to walk off, The Portuguese guy said (in Spanish) "My god, you don't have to understand Portuguese to know that you shouldn't park like that! Learn some manners!" She stopped, looked back at her car as if pondering, "hmm, maybe I'm not the center of the universe." To her credit, the Spanish woman then got back in her car and parked it correctly. There are clueless people everywhere...

On the way, the out of Evora, The Alentejo region has miles and miles of cork trees. You can see where they have harvested the cork by the large swathes of red wood where the cork has been peeled away, which I had never seen before and found pretty interesting. The cork bark doesn't change much from tree to wine bottle, other than the shape.

The Alentejo region was hot, but it was a dry heat. When I got to Tavira, which is on a river near the sea, but not on the coast, it was actually not as hot, but the humidity made it horrible. To top it off, my hotel here was pretty basic; clean, but nothing special, esp. since the Air conditioning was on the fritz, so it didn't cool my room down, just blew the air around. I was glad I only had one night here because I didn't sleep a wink all night. This morning I got up early, finished up what I needed to check and then got the hell out of there.

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