Day 3: Today was mostly a travel day. We covered a decent number of kms from Lagos to Evora. Before leaving Lagos however we made sure to go back to our favourite little cafe and get another coffee milkshake. Only this time she was out of coffee flavoured ice cream, so we went with chocolate instead and had a iced mocha.
Along the way to Evora we stopped at a small town called Aljezur which Ness had been told to check out by someone but we weren't entirely sure why. In any case it was on our way so we stopped by. Turned out to be a rather nice little town where the main attraction was the castle ruins up on the hill. They were pretty old and pretty cool and the view was quite amazing, it was a nice little stop.
Next up was Vila Nova de Milfontes which was a beach town. This was also on our itinerary I think just because there were some pretty cool photos of it. It did have a nice beach and some nice cliffs and I kinda natural harbour type thing going on which created a few beaches with calmer water which would have be nice to swim in had we had the inclination to do so or if the weather was a bit warmer. We also had a rather disappointing lunch here, mostly just because of the price of it was far more than what it was worth.
Then we turned inland to reach Evora. This was the longest single stretch of the day at about two and half hours of driving and it was just past 7pm by the time we reached Evora. Evora is probably the largest city with been in so far in Portugal and driving around was quite the task with the traffic. It took us quite some time before we could find a McDonalds (so we could get wifi) despite several signs vaguely pointing us in the direction. Now we're at a rather nice hostel (closer to a hotel really, but decently priced). Tomorrow there is plenty here to do, one of which is an item on my original Google map; a church decorated with human skeletons.
Day 4: Well today was a rather busy one. We spent most of it in Evora before heading off to Lisbon and arriving there around 7ish. Evora turned out to be an awesome place, probably my favourite in Portugal so far. In hindsight I think I'd like to spend a bit more time there, and perhaps I will if I find my way back down Portugal before going across. I guess I'll just basically list the things we saw and let the pictures do most of the talking. We started by going up to the top of the hill in the middle of the town where there was the ruins of an old Roman temple not far from the cathedral which towered over the city. Unfortunately the cathedral along with a couple of other churches we peeked in required an admission fee, and from what we could see from behind the curtain, none of them looked worth it. What was worth it though, and oddly had the lowest admission fee was the bone chapel (Capela dos Ossos).
This was a chapel decorated almost entirely with human bones. It was really well done and even used longer straight bones to create arches and columns while skulls were used on the corners of pillars and along the ceiling. There were a few poems written too by priests and such who had visited, one of which was rather interesting about how being in the room made you think about your own mortality. Thinking on it, I should have taken a picture of it. I can probably find it online somewhere if I really want.
The last thing we went and saw was the aqueduct which was built during the 16th century. So while it might not have been as old as some of the awesome Roman aqueducts I've seen, it was still pretty damn impressive and was the longest I've seen. The part which can be seen is 8 km long, and part of it is still actually used to help supply to the city with water, though it is no longer supplied from the original source and takes a detour somewhere along the line. Due to the fact that we had a car we were able to drive up to a lookout point giving a great view over the city and the aqueduct. Combined with the cathedral overlooking the city in the middle it was a very impressive sight. We even went right to the where the aqueduct started and walked along it for a bit. There was also a metal hatch we could open to look into the inside of the aqueduct. Pretty cool.
Then after buying some stuff to make lunch and dinner we were on the Lisbon. This drive wasn't too bad, a few hours at most. Nothing of real note happened along the way. But there was one point where we took a bit of a detour to try and figure out what a sign we kept seeing meant. There were brown signs with a symbol which looked somewhat like a stonehenge pointing to various places, all with different names. Eventually we took one of the roads yet could still not figure out what we were suppose to be seeing. So we gave up. And then it was into the big city.