Mediterranean Odyssey 2019 travel blog

View from the hotel


Making bread

More snacks

Another streetscape

We had a great start to the day with a breakfast in a very medieval room complete with suits of armour, swords and shields and other similar regalia. A very nice breakfast where everyone was very quiet and refined ( J and C didn’t really fit in!). One of the staff came around as soon as we sat down with a tray of Pastela da nata. J and C felt obliged to have one. The grandchildren would have loved it - big jars of all sorts of lollies - snakes, fruit lollies, pink lollies, etc.

We headed out about 9:30 and did a slow wander all around the town. There are a number of churches, some decorated with beautiful blue and white tiles. Houses are generally traditionally coloured - white with blue, yellow, and puce trim. Roofs of terracotta. All the streets are paved with small marble stones or cobblestones. The city walls have no handrails on the walkways so we stayed off them!

The castle end of the city had a Pousada in the main building ( a sort of traditional hotel), and the other part was quite run down and scruffy. Plus a lot of daggy old wooden huts maybe being restored. They look to be a 100 years old or so. Maybe they are some form of cheap accommodation for travellers. But the whole area needed a good clean and tidy up.

There are lots of Bougainvillea - pink, orange, red, yellow.

We sat at an outside cafe for a coffee late in the morning - waiting, waiting..... people after us were being served, waiters were ignoring C who appeared to be doings ‘Heil Hitler’! One very tough looking woman started cleaning up a table near us and C asked politely if we could order - she snapped at her - “ we are busy so you have to wait”. So C did a ‘Granny Minchin’ and got up and said “ we are leaving” and stalked off! J found a nice spot a little while later and we had coffee.

More walking, more photos (many more!) and before long it was lunchtime. Just a true snack was required. We found a small place where they were baking bread in a wood fired oven. It was good to see the bread rolls being formed, then another bread with meat in it . We heard the boss telling customers about other breads with honey, herbs, olives in it. Which reminds me about last nights bread - see the note at the end. We asked the lady who spoke good English, and she explained the sandwich fillings. C chose special ( cheese, ham, rocket) and J selected Tuna. They came out on a huge wooden board with the bread roll split and opened, and fillings piled all over the top. Also, a plate of potato crisps, and an orange cut in quarters! No way these sandwiches could be picked up. Knives and forks needed. So a snack is not a snack!

After we had covered as much as we could inside, we exited through another gate, and found an aquaduct that would have been the water supply. Then back down the outside of the wall and we were soon back at the hotel.

Room not yet serviced, so we did some repacking and organising stuff for travel. And had a siesta. After an hour or so we got a tap on the door and it was the cleaners - we left them to it and went downstairs to the bar where cold drinks were ordered and J and C relaxed and pretended to be medieval again! At one point J heard C say she was going nuts, and he asked why. “get your ears checked! I said I can hear some singing monks!” The ‘muzak’ was in fact monk-like singing, probably selected to fit in with the surroundings.

J went out a bit later to cover a few more spots, and take more photos in late afternoon light. C continued her repacking.

Tomorrow we finish our holiday and head to Lisbon Airport to fly home. Let’s hope Tom comes to the party and gets us to the right airport! We are due to fly out at 2:15 and arrive in Dubai for a 9 hour layover and (hopefully) a sleep and shower before the 14+ hour leg to Melbourne.

Note : At last nights meal, we had some bread and olives to start with. Home made bread. J was shocked to see some of it had bright green streaks in it. He was a little concerned that the bread had gone mouldy and no-one had noticed! He asked the waiter who made matters worse by telling him it was algae. J hoped it wasn’t the blue/green variety!

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