Estremoz

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We didn’t get a great night’s sleep last night thanks to the three (or more?) guard dogs in the factory unit opposite the aire, which decided to start barking away at 3:30AM. They disturbed the cockrels which then started crowing. It’s a residential area and I’m just glad I don’t live there!

This morning we drove 100 km or so to Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The sat nav wasn’t set to avoid tolls, so we spent €20 which we didn’t intend to, but the road was good and there was little traffic.

After parking the van right next to the aqueduct, we walked through one of the gates in the old city wall and found our way to the main square. With a map from the tourist information office, we set off to see the sights.

It’s actually a very small city, and there’s not a huge amount to do. It didn’t help that the map was poor, and there are no tourist street signs whatsoever to show where the sights are. We only found the Roman bath house by accident, and we gave up looking for the university – pretty woeful for a town that clearly relies on tourism. There’s also a ‘chapel of bones’ here, but we gave it a miss as it was €4 each to get in. Évora’s a nice enough place though, very pretty in places, but after about three hours we were done.

Carol by the Roman temple

Roman temple

Main square

Évora street

Évora aqueduct

Once back at the van we replanned our next couple of days. Rather than stay in Évora tonight, we’ve moved on to a town called Estremoz, intending to walk round the town tomorrow before moving on to Elvas, another UNESCO World Heritage site near the Spanish border. However, we made it here in good time, and have seen what there is to see.

Estremoz castle

Estremoz church

Estremoz bullring

Estremoz old town

Tomorrow we’ll now be going straight to Elvas. There’s not a huge amount to do there either, so we may decide to cross the border and spend tomorrow night in Badajoz – we’ll just have to see how we go. We are finding though that we’re travelling at a faster rate than we’d originally planned, and can see ourselves reaching the French border near San Sebastián well before the end of June.

On leaving Évora today, we just by chance spotted a Sports Direct, so we stopped to buy some new trainers, as both our trainers are worse for wear (according to our pedometers we’ve each walked well over half a million steps since leaving the UK). The store was laid out exactly the same as at home – socks by the entrance (no cheap brollies though!) and the till right at the back of the shop.

New trainers!

Tonight we’re parked in the main square, right in front of the town hall, with three other motorhomes for company.

Our parking spot for the night

There is Eurovision-type music blaring away over the PA system, presumably to deter the local kids from hanging around causing trouble. It seems to be on a loop as we’ve heard a few songs more than once. I’m trying to ignore the ‘music’ as best I can – I definitely don’t want any of these tunes going round my head when I’m trying to nod off tonight!

Mike

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