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Published: October 9th 2019
Sunday, Oct 6
Left Lisbon and took the coast road heading to Setubal. We had lunch at a roadside diner that served a famous pork sandwich. My iced tea was way more than the beer and wine that were only 1 Euro each. Good food and good gelato. We also stopped at a famous "Best Mediterranean Tree" for 3 years running. Don't laugh, there is a committee that goes around finding the best tree. It was pretty cool. By late afternoon we arrived at our hotel which looked great from the outside and the inside. All cool tones, light wood and white walls and billed as minimalist. I didn't appreciate this much or our guide's long talk about where, when how to meet etc as I really had to get to the room and use the facilities. As soon as we signed and had the keys I left Ross and ran up to the room. The minimalist key wouldn't work. There was nothing printed on it just a blank card. But there was a cleaning person in the hallway and she came and kindly opened the door for me. As I found relief in the washroom I heard the room
door open and the voice wasn't Ross. I was about to yell at Ross not to let anyone in yet, when I realized by what they were saying, that I was in the wrong room. Quickly hiked up my pants, apologized and fled the room. Luckily (or not) they were part of our group. Finished the evening with everyone having a picnic of bread, cheese, olives, sausage and wine on our balcony.
Monday, Oct 7
Visited a megalithic and neolithic site outside of Evora that had 7000 year old stones in a calendar circle. Then to cave dome and next a hill that used to have a fortress overlooking the town of Evora. Back in the town we had a great lunch with dogfish bread soup (surprisingly good). Saw a few interesting churches: one with a bone chapel, one with a pregnant Virgin Mary, and a tower to climb on the roof (you wouldn't believe the lack of safety precautions up there) and a Roman Diana temple. Back at the hotel for dinner we caused a bit of a ruckus getting 2 tables together and having a waiter's head banged by a pendant light.
Tuesday, Oct 8
Out on the street by 9 to try to find the Roman Bath ruins. I had put the address in my Google maps on my phone so led the group onwards. A bit of confusion when I ignored the Google direction to turn, since we thought we saw the town hall and the ruins were to be in there. The building was a church. So half went one way, some another. We finally coalesced and found our way to the town hall. No signs to the ruins until we saw, off in a corner, a little closed area with a Roman Bath. No big deal for the people of Evora because whenever we asked anyone, they had never heard about it. From here some went shopping along the main street and I went to do another sketch. Back to the hotel to get our luggage and meet our driver. First a grocery store stop for port, wine and water. Next stop was a pottery factory. When our driver asked if we wanted to stop, all the women immediately yelled, yes and the guys groaned. Free espresso, factory tour and a few purchases later we were on our way. Got
to the castle at Monsaraz. PANIC
, one couple could not find their camera. Everyone hunted through the whole van offered a zillion suggestions and our driver called the pottery factory. While waiting for the factory owner to look around and call us back we climbed up to the castle (hot day) and took some fantastic photos (he still had his phone for pics). Sorry, no camera. More speculation, discussion and suggestions. Since we had to pass the factory on our way back he ran in and checked but no luck. After another 20 minutes of talks about pickpockets, theft, etc people started nodding off as we had a long way to go. Arrived in Lagos about 7:30 pm, unpacked and arrived at the onsite restaurant just in time to order some divine pizzas and carpaccio.
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