The name of this town I stayed in last night is Évora. I’ve come to the conclusion that must be Portuguese for “pork.”
Ok, not really – but they are REALLY fond of pork here. Last night, I decided he was in the mood for roasted chicken. So I walked around for about an hour trying to find a restaurant that served chicken. Didn´t even have to be roasted, just chicken.
You know what they have on the menus here? The ONLY thing they have on the menus here? If you guessed PORK, you´d be right on target. One or two places had lamb, rabbit and beef as well.
It was the high comedic moment of the evening. So I gave up and went to a pizza place (I was mildly disappointed, having wanted to go somewhere nice, “with atmosphere” to eat – but I figured, I’m in Portugal. Don´t need any more atmosphere than that!”) I had a very bland mix of noodles, cheese, mushrooms, peppers and chicken. And a few REALLY tasty glasses of vino verde – green wine, which is wine from unripened grapes with a bit of a sparkle to it (as in, it´s fizzy!)
The town is BEAUTIFUL – just consider this a warning if you have a limited diet.
I had been vegetarians for a long time (for 16 years). But in the past couple years I’ve pretty much officially added chicken to allowable food stuff. You really can´t survive in some countries without adding one or the other or both chicken and fish. I’d add fish, but the idea of fish still sorta grosses me out. I’ll try it and slowly ease into it. But only the healthy, grilled sort.
But I digress. Évora is an absolutely lovely, quaint, scenic little town. From the Rick Steve´s Spain and Portugal guidebook: Deep in the heart of Portugal, in the barren, arid plains of the southern province of Alentejo, historic Évora has been a cultural oasis for 2,000 years. With an untouched provincial atmosphere, fascinating whitewashed old town, museums, a cathedral, a chapel of bones and even a Roman temple, Évora stands proudly amid groves of cork and olive trees.
The old town is also surrounded by a big wall – and as the book points out, driving within the town in the wall is a small adventure in itself.
I stayed at a place recommended by Rick Steve´s 2004 Spain & Portugal guidebook – Residencial Policarpo. I give it a huge thumbs up – I opted to save $20 a night by taking a room with a shared bathroom (I had a funny little adventure in the bathroom, but I´ll tell that one later). Great little place and the staff was very friendly.
Today I’m going to quickly see the chapel of bones and then off for a 4.5 hour drive to Sevilla, Spain.
I´m very excited to practice my Spanish and I haven´t stopped chattering about having genuine chicken empanadas in days.
Mmm… chicken empanadas. And tapas. And sangria.