Yes, folks, our arrival in Évora coincided with the onset of rain! Pretty unfortunate for us as we’d just sussed a pretty handy free parking spot within a stone’s throw of the walled city – unfortunately, we were parked-up on a sandy surface and, as we sat eating lunch, we could see the sand and gravel turning to orange muck as the rain poured – not a pleasant thing to have smeared on the floor of one’s home on wheels! Thankfully, we managed to find another spot – this time with a cobbled surface and still within an easy walk of the city so we decamped and, in fact, this spot is quieter, cleaner and we can almost reach out and touch the 500 year old engineering wonder which is The Town Aquaduct – 9km of stone arches, some reaching 26m in height, running the 9km from the reservoir into the medieval city, built in the mid 1500s and still not only standing but functional too! We’re pretty awestruck by it!
Évora is the capital of The Alentejo Region and was granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1986 – not difficult to see why as, quite frankly, it is stunningly beautiful. Yes, of course it’s “touristy” but not in a “tat shop on every corner” way. Quite simply, it has, possibly, the best collection of well-preserved medieval buildings, cobbled streets, Roman ruins etc that either of us have ever seen! All together in a compact, walled-city which is easy to navigate around as, basically, all roads in lead to the main square.
Unfortunately, the rain continued on Saturday morning and, whilst we took advantage of what appeared to be a break in the showers and headed off to explore this fascinating city, the heavens opened yet again and all three of us suffered a mega-soaking! Back to Sebo we scooted to dry ourselves and our saturated clothing whilst waiting for the rain to stop. It didn’t! Not until Sunday morning! Still, patience is a virtue, right?
Our patience was thoroughly rewarded when we awoke this morning to blue skies and sunshine! Yaaay! We took Harley for a spin around the block then he was only too happy to guard Sebo whilst we headed back into town – medieval city sightseeing is really not his thang and he does it under sufferance sometimes! But, not today, because we wanted to visit The Chapel of Bones and we’re pretty certain he wouldn’t be allowed in – for obvious reasons!
What a difference a day makes – meandering around the city in the sunshine this morning was so very much more rewarding than yesterday! We even managed to take a break in proceedings and treated ourselves to lunch at a back street restaurant – the place was buzzing but, thankfully, we managed to get a table and enjoy some fab local dishes, a 5ooml carafe of local vino tinto and a coffee each for €24.80! Excellent value and no cooking or washing up required later!
We took lots and lots of photos – we won’t bore you with them all but here’s just a few and, if you’re ever in Lisbon, we can assure you that Évora is well worth a day trip!
Tomorrow, we’re going to start heading back south,towards Silves, and our plan – in so far as we have one(!) – is to go south as far as Cabo de São Vicente (the most southwesterly tip of Europe) then up the west coast and back into northern Spain at some point. This depends on weather, obviously, so is always open to change.