Up and at ’em pretty early today as we have a fair way to go, about 330km in all. It was nice to stay in a hotel for a change, and our choice in Caceres, Casa Don Fernando, was great. And cheap, Only €64! The same quality hotel anywhere in Victoria would be at least twice that. Caceres is a beautiful town, and highly recommended to anyone travelling through Spain.
Our first stop today is at another World Heritage site, the Medieval Roman town of Evora. Yep, more cobblestones, stone walls and ancient temples. Oh, and this place has a very special chapel, ‘Capela dos Ossos’…the Chapel of Bones!
I’d read about this place ages ago, and was really excited to see it, so you could imagine my disappointment when we got to the information desk and discovered it was closed between 12.45 – 2.30pm, and it was now 12.47!!! Nothing for it but to hang around for a couple of hours, so we thought a reconnaissance of the area would help pass the time.
First, where is the Chapel so we can whip through at exactly 2.30? Found it, found a reason to love Portugal straight away….still open, and virtually empty, and only €2 entry. Truly, these southerners have a lot to learn about gouging tourists! It’s a small side chapel to the main Cathedral, which is under major restoration, and it’s walls are lined with the bones of monks past. Two of the quotes that greet you as you enter, and inside translate to…
“We bones, lying here, for yours we wait”
“Better is the day of death than the day of birth” Charming!! Fascinating little chapel, not nearly as macabre as you’d think. The rest of the town is pretty good, including some Roman columns, and a long aqueduct. The Aqueduct!
“All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for US?” (Reg……life of Brian)
Thanks Evora, nice little pit stop….now, on to Lisbon. Once again we had the road pretty much t ourselves all the way into Lisbon, then we hit the ‘Ponte 25 de Abril”, translation = copy of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran! Big bridge, lots of traffic, lots more to come…..yikes!!
I’ve heard the city centre is madness, one way streets everywhere, and what I heard is right. Luckily it’s Saturday afternoon and the streets aren’t too bad, and we find our apartment pretty easily, thanks in large part to Rachael’s navigation skills, and my learning to shut up and just listen to instructions. Finally!!! Getting a park is another thing, but we also fluke that, even though it looks less than secure.
Bags dropped off we thought it best to find better accommodation for the chariot, so set of to meet our parking KPI’s. I may mention going forward how inexpensive Portugal is relative to most of Europe, but when it comes to parking costs, they lead the way! Parking is at a premium, and pricing is set accordingly. We don’t need the car again till Monday, and by then we will be up for €70, which was the cheapest we could find.
A friendly bit of advice people, leave the car at home, fly to Lisbon!!! Not car friendly.
So, now the car hire costs have skyrocketed, I must have looked frazzled, ‘cos 10 minutes into our first stroll some dude offered me drugs!!
Time for a beer….done! Wandered around, bought a bottle of rose, and settled into our apartment for awhile, which by the way is fabulous. Great position, huge by any standards, and well equipped, even with a turntable and heaps of vinyl. A few tunes and a vino while we plan our next couple of days.
First plan was dinner, and relying on TripAdvisor, we headed out at about 9.30 to find the fifth ranked restaurant in Lisbon. We finally found it at about 10pm, it looked great, they had a seat, so in we went. Looks promising, prices are excellent, food looks good…what could go wrong? Well….50 minutes later we still haven’t eaten anything, and we are still waiting for our sangria! Wait, what’s this coming towards us? Can it be true? Sangria!! In a tiny tin mug….tiny I tell you! Food finally dribbles out, as do muted apologises, then slightly louder muttering of sorrow, then offerings of digestives to finish the night! Mind you it was almost morning by the time the bill comes, so who needs a digestive, more in need of an aperitif!!