We ventured on our way to Evora this morning, early; it was really foggy out as we drove inland through rolling hills and forests of cork.
Evora is considered to be one of Portugal’s most preserved medieval towns.
We stopped at the side of the road for some shots in the fog. There were bushes with pretty flowers with an overwhelming scent. Carol thought she was smelling the olive trees but we found out the flowers were used for perfume, gum rose cistus, i think was the name. The bushes line the roads.
Before we went in to Evora we decided go to visit one of the sites where megaliths were found, mysterious standing stones. I have seen many in Ireland, Scotland and in the Orkneys and was curious about them.
Megaliths are found all over the ancient landscape of Evora. These prehistoric structures date from 7500 years ago to 5000 years ago in this region thereâ€™s amazing amount of Neolithic remains. Dolmens(Neolithic stone tombs) were probably a type of temple or collective tomb, covered with large, flat stones and built on hilltops or valleys near waterlines. Menhirs,(individual standing stones) may indicate fertility rights or could be to do with the seasonal changes. Iâ€™m not really sure; I think thereâ€™s lots of questions around that. We had a fascinating tour on our own; youâ€™ll see that from the photos. I used my I Phone compass to check the setting of various stones and it was an interesting idea to think about, how the stones were situated in relation to each other. Before I come again , I need to do some more research.
From there we went into the city of Evora, which is a medieval walled town, and we drove up the narrow roads, trying to find where our accommodation was. The apartment wasnâ€™t ready until after three, so we parked and walked around. It is an absolutely amazing town. We found the chapel of bones,(Capela dos Ossos) which I had really wanted see. Itâ€™s a popular macabre site and a chilling reminder of death. Over the doors as you walk in there is a message, an attempt at black humour from early times, We bones that are here await yours. It was interesting the way the bones were organized in patterns almost as if a contemporary designer travelled back through time to help them plan.
Next door is the Cathedral, Igreja de Graca. We wandered around there, saw the museum attached and had some great views from the top of it over the city.
We walked back to our rooms; I had the code (rather than a key) to get in. We parked our stuff in there, sat around for a bit, had a glass of wine, and then we went out to see the temple of Diana, the Roman temple, which is in quite good shape. We watched the sunset and then went off to dinner.
Dinner was at an old former convent, called the Pousada Convento de Evora. Itâ€™s right opposite the temple Romano. Itâ€™s beautiful classy, and we had to pretend that we were classy too. One of the best meals was had by all of us tonight, even though it was more expensive than most of my meals has been. It was fabulous and a great end to a magnificent day.