The original plan was for us to head to Evora first, but because everyone in our group had decided to join the optional excursion, our guide decided that we would do that first. So we left Vilamoura and headed towards Monsaraz. This little town sits on a high point – perhaps the highest point for miles around – which is most likely why it has been occupied for as long as it has. Pedro had arranged a little wine and cheese moment for us in one of the little restaurants inside Monsaraz. The old medieval town is surrounded by walls, and the buildings are all white washed to keep them cool in the heat. It’s September still, but still quite warm for me.
I was going to sit on that slate bench to have my picture taken, but it was so hot I couldn’t sit on it. Monsaraz also has a bull ring still, which they still use on occasion. The view from the walls has changed a little in the years since the town was first built as there have been dams built, which form lakes in the distance. I could post so many pictures from here. Then we headed out towards Evora.
We stopped twice to visit megalithic monuments. Now I don’t know if I’ve said, but I love prehistoric things. Ever since I learned about Stonehenge, it’s been a minor obsession of mine so these stops were a total treat. Neither were on our itinerary, but Trafalgar tours are also notorious for sneaking in little hidden treasures.
This one is an estimated 6000 years old and local legend says that if women circle it clockwise with their hand on the centre stone, that they will be pregnant in the next year. The next one is about the same age, and is linked with marriage legends – if you turn out back on the monument and toss a rock over your head and it lands on the top, you will be married in the next year. Needless to say our group participated in both.
Then we drove to Evora where we met a sweet lady who was our local guide. She showed us the roman temple that had been hidden inside the walls of a newer building for decades, the cathedral and winding streets. Evora is really quite pretty
We even met a local cat who had the best possible way to beat the heat by capitalizing on the breeze: