Badajoz

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When writing last night’s update, we were parked up in the main square at Estremoz, waiting for the Eurovision music to be switched off.

Well they did switch it off, but not long afterwards a band started playing in a hall near the square – we’re not sure whether it was a concert or some sort of party – but the music got louder and louder. They were doing 50’s and 60’s standard rock ‘n roll covers by Chuck Berry, Elvis, Fats Domino, Eddie Cochran and the like, and they were absolutely murdering them, it was excruciating to listen. We went to bed thinking it would end soon, and just before midnight it sounded like they’d wrapped it up. Our relief was short-lived though, as they then rapped it up (bad pun, sorry!) and began playing rap songs even louder.

We’d more than had enough by now, so we got up and set off in the van, dressed in our PJs looking for somewhere else to park. We drove around Estremoz but couldn’t find anywhere suitable, so we plugged the co-ordinates for Elvas into the sat nav and drove the 40 km there. It was the first time we’ve driven the van in the dark and it was pretty cool. We were trundling around Elvas looking for a place to park up when Carol spotted a group of mohos right next to the aqueduct, so we went and joined them. It was nice and quiet, no loud music, no barking dogs and no cockerels crowing. Bliss!

Our second parking spot of the night

This morning the weather was so cold, grey and miserable that I had to retrieve our coats from the storage crates in the garage. Being parked next to the aqueduct, it only took 10 minutes to walk to the old town, stopping to admire the aqueduct on the way.

Elvas is very different to Évora, where we were yesterday. The tourist map was bigger and better illustrated, and there were loads of signposts around the place. There wasn’t too much to do, unless you like churches, but we knew that. That said, it’s a nice photogenic place and we enjoyed what we saw.

Panoramic photo of the aqueduct from the van

Silly face time

Elvas aqueduct

The Elvas main square

Elvas side street

I love the pavement designs here in Portugal

Signs everywhere! A lesson for Évora

After lunch back at the van we set off for Badajoz, over the border in Spain, and just 15 km away. It seems weird that despite only travelling only 10 miles, we’re in another country where everything feels so different – there’s little obvious sign that we’re right next door to Portugal, other than the Portuguese Sagres beer on sale in the bars, and the Delta coffee shops. I personally enjoyed Portugal, but I do love it in Spain and I’m pleased to be back (though on the down side we’ve moved time zones and lost an hour!)

We’re now on a free aire in Badajoz, just over the river from what’s left of the old town. It took a severe pounding from Franco’s Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, and before that, in 1812, the city was besieged by one Arthur Wellesley – aka the Duke of Wellington – when it was held by the French. We went for a walk around the town this afternoon, stopping to enjoy a cheeky glass of wine like you do (well it is a bank holiday weekend!).

I love a Spanish plaza, but the Plaza Alta in Badajoz looks ghastly

A much better looking Plaza de España!

Spot our van!

Parked next to us on the aire is the Dutch couple we were parked next to last night in Estremoz. The noise apparently went on until 1AM, so we’re glad that we moved on when we did.

Tomorrow we’ll be driving to Mérida, where there are lots of Roman things for us to see.

Mike

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