Moving on to Portugal

January 25, 2006

The plan for today was to catch the Madrid to Lisbon bus which stopped in Evora, Portugal. Unfortunately there was only one bus a day and when we went to buy our tickets they told us the bus was full. Part of us thought this might happen but we were still surprised. We decided to take the next regional bus to the border town of Badajoz and try to reach Evora from there. We figured since this was a larger city and it bordered Portugal our chances would be better. Again we were floored when we went to see about bus departures only to find out there were seats available on the same bus we wanted to get on in Merida. Just another example of how important is it to be flexible when traveling and the same could be said for life.

Once in Portugal the landscape was a mix of rolling hills and vast animal farms. Spain and Portugal rely heavily on meat in their cooking so they are not very veggie friendly countries and cured pork legs seem to be a common decoration piece in most cafes and bars. Quite strange indeed. As we approached Evora we noticed that the old city is surrounded by medieval walls which looked inviting and also made it easy to find our way from the bus station. The "youth" hostel ended up being closed but we found a nice room in a 17th century manor house complete with Roman columns inside. We dropped our bags off and headed straight to the Chapel of Bones before it closed. The chapel was discovered in 1958 and is constructed with the bones and skulls of several thousand people. It sounded odd but interesting but once inside I was completely freaked out looking a the skulls whose empty eye sockets seemed to look right through you.

After a few quick pictures we were outta there and off to the Temple of Diana. This temple is amazingly preserved and you can get a great view of the norther part of the city from the nearby park.

Before dinner we walked around the beautifully lit up city walls and then found a restaurant which served lasagna which sounded great on chilly night. We also tried the local green wine which is close to a chilled sparkling wine. It was tasty and cheap. The night was topped off at an internet cafe where we were able to chat with friends who were trying to look busy while at work. :)

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