Estremoz and more of Evora!!…

Estramoz is our nearest town – it is where we do most of our food shopping. Like most of the towns around here it is steeped in history. It is the largest marble town in the province of Alentejo in Portugal. Its castle, turrets and city walls from the 13th century are perched high on a hilltop and are still remarkably intact.

It is not difficult to be transported back to medieval times as you walk around these little towns with their narrow cobbled streets, white washed buildings and city gates and archways. Life seems to have stopped here and you half expect a knight to come charging over the cobbles on his horse heading out to battle.

We went for a wander around on Friday evening; with the sun less fierce and an early evening breeze blowing it was the perfect time to climb to the castle for a look at the view.

View admired and photos taken we retired to a restaurant that has been built in what was once the prison. We sat outside and marveled at the quiet whilst sipping a well earned beer (well I did, hubby was driving!)

Early the next day we set of into Evora to do the shopping (supermarkets here in Portugal open at 8.30am and not 10am like in Spain) Shopping done we then went for a wander around town. This time of day before the sun gets too hot is also a perfect time to be tourists and roam the quiet streets,window shopping and taking photos. Once is started to get too hot we stopped in the main square for refreshments before heading back to the car and home for lunch. A perfect saturday morning.

The castle walls of Estremoz

This doorway looked and felt really old. Imagine all the people that have walked through it….

The 13th century castle was also the Royal Palace

Having a rest at the top

Ahhh… stop!!

The restaurant/bar was once the old prison; lovely now but I bet it wasn’t always as nice!

Early morning in Evora – hubby proclaimed he had never seen trees with purple flowers before !!! – bless…

Everywhere you look there are glimpses of the past, old skylines and architecture nestling amongst the new.

I seem to be drawn to buildings at the moment. I loved this ornate window.

Me in my new floppy ‘Brigitte Bardot’ style sun hat – a bargain at only 3 euros 50!!!

Settling in

It’s been a week since we arrived here in Portugal and we are once again settling into a different routine and a different pace.

The absence of any wind (did I mention that it was windy in Cadiz!) means that outdoor living is once again on the cards and in the 36 degree C heat that we have been having all week somewhat necessary.

Morning runs now have to be completed by 8.30am as by then it is just too hot to even contemplate putting running shoes on let alone actually doing any running in them. Likewise yoga has now been allocated a new evening slot and it is now lovely to be doing my practice as the sun cools down and works it’s way down the horizon (and it means I get out of the washing up!!)

The cats have been very hot teddies this past week and they now spend much of their days snoozing in the shade or lapping up cool water. They are enjoying sitting out with us in the evening when the temperatures become more bearable for them and we are finding that none of us heads in much before the sun finally goes down.

The insect life here is a source of amazement to us with a mass of weird and wonderful looking critters traipsing in and out of the awning. Oscar has a habit of bringing some of them into the caravan attached to his long fur and so now he has to be ‘frisked’ before he comes in for the night as I have had enough of waking up with spiders on me!! The mossies here are something else and we have both been bitten alive – citronella oil is just not cutting the mustard so if anyone has any other suggestions please let us know (of a non chemical variety). You can see the mossies coming a mile off as they are so big; like a jumbo jet coming into land!

We are off into Evora again at the weekend (we went and had a look around the old part of town last saturday) to see if we can buy a couple of fans to try and cool the caravan and awning down a little. We also want a quick look at Evoramonte (our nearest town) as it has a very impressive looking castle. I think trips out this summer will have to be quick ones though as leaving the cats in the caravan during the day is going to be too hot. The campsite owner is putting in a swimming pool at the moment which he hopes to finish in the next 2 weeks! I can see hubby and I being in there an awful lot!

Anyways, below are some more insect piccies and some photo’s of our visit to Evora.

Hot teddies….

Sticking paws in the air seems to be the way to go…

A rhino beetle – don’t mess with this little guy…

Is it a slug? is it a caterpillar? who knows but it sure did move fast…

Evora a Unesco Heritage Site due to its well preserved old town…

√Čvora has a history dating back more than two millennia. It may have been the kingdom of Astolpas and may be named after ivory workers. It was known as Ebora by the Lusitanians, who made the town their regional capital.

The Romans conquered the town in 57 BC and expanded it into a walled town. Vestiges from this period (city walls and ruins of Roman baths) still remain. The Romans had extensive gold mining in Portugal, and the name may be derived from that oro, aurum, gold).

Giraldo Square, in the centre of √Čvora.