Today we left Lisbon and on the way out the bus drove us by the train station that was built for the World Expo here in 1998. They are kind of hard to see, but all of the buildings in the middle of second picture were built for the different countries that had exhibits. As we were driving, we ran into a caravan of gypsies that held up traffic for quite a while. Unfortunately we did not get a picture as they were too close once we passed them, but it was an interesting experience.
We stopped in Monsaraz for lunch and a bit of a walk. We had a wonderful lamb and potato meal at a local restaurant. Due to its geographic position, the hilltop of Monsaraz always occupied an important place in history. It is one of the oldest Portuguese settlements and has been occupied by Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, Mozarabs, Jews, and Christians. It’s name means Slate Mountain and all of the streets, and many of the buildings, were made from slate. It is not a big town, just about everything was a 5 minute walk from the center. The guide told us we could not get lost because the whole city was surrounded by a wall.
The 7th picture shows Leslie and Linda getting caught by Don – they had stopped to shop and realized they could no longer hear the tour guide on their listening devices so they were running to catch up with the group. We got to explore the castle, walking up some pretty steep stairs without hand rails, but the view was spectacular. What used to be the courtyard of the castle has been turned into a bull fighting ring where they hold bull fights in the summer. We like the Portugal bull fighting because they do not kill the bull.
This evening we stopped in Evora. We are staying at an old monastery that has been turned into a pousada. We had a big dinner, after our big breakfast and big lunch. The boys had sea bass and the girls had mushroom risotto. We are getting wine and dessert with every meal. There is a real danger we will not fit in our plane seats for the ride home.