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Report 1068: Alto Alentejo, Portugal

By davidx from England, Winter 2005

Trip Description: I went alone for a pre-Christmas break. I wanted to see Evora and Elvas and one out of Marv„a and Monsaraz. In the end it was easier to plan for Marv„o and I planned the itinerary around these places.

Destinations: Countries - Portugal

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Sightseeing; Independent Travel; Single Traveler

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Page 1 of 11: Getting to Evora

photo by davidx

Temple of Diana at early sunset

I am lucky enough to have a hospitable friend who lives near Manchester airport so it was no problem to get a fairly early plane to Faro. Why Faro? It's not near Evora. No, but we pensioners have to be mindful of where cheap airlines go!

An early arrival meant that I could catch an earlier bus than I'd anticipated by taking a taxi to the bus station. It was a long trip, about four hours, less boring than I'd feared though nothing marvellous.

The bus station at Evora is about five minutes walk outside the walled city and then there's a steep road up to the centre, where I headed straight for the Tourist Office, which was closed, it being Sunday afternoon! Fortunately the whole world seemed to know the way to the hotel, Policarpo, so I had no difficulty.

The Policarpo had once been the palace of a marquis and is a very striking with great views over the plane. They didn't provide meals other than breakfast but the receptionist recommended a good place in the centre. I was only using Evora as a stopping point for this night and intended returning a couple of days later to see Evora better. However, as the cathedral and the temple of Diana were near, I couldn't resist a quick look - after all it might be wet when I returned. In the late afternoon/early evening sunlight it was great but I was a bit disappointed not to be able to go up to the temple remains, which are set on a mound.

I had time for a couple of hours rest before going for my meal. Fortunately I'd remembered about Portuguese appetites. What they call a half quantity is adequate for any normal human being - and you don't need a side dish. I forgot that once in BraganÁa and, once having paid, I was determined to eat it all. I did but it was lucky it was a downhill walk to my hotel. With this in mind I enjoyed a 'half' and returned to the Policarpo not feeling too bloated.

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