So we started our morning by going back into Merida to see a few things. We hadn’t realized the museum in town wasn’t covered on our ticket, so we decided to skip it and went to the Alcazaba (basically fortress) in town instead. We enjoyed looking out at the city, seeing the Roman bridge looking beautiful in the morning light. The fortress itself was cool too. Walls you could climb up on, and this awesome tunnel that led into the depths of the fortress with a pool of goldfish at the bottom. All in all very fun.
Our last stop in Merida was to an aqueduct on the outskirts of town. It wasn’t Pont du Gard by any means, but it was very fun with its ruined state. And besides, the storks from town had all built nests along it which was very cool to see.
Once wed finished with pictures we set out on our drive to our next country. My family decided to be a bit crazy in our travels and visit… 6 countries. Insanity I tell you. So the next on the list was Portugal.
We stopped in Evora for lunch. Since the weather was beautiful we settled for having a picnic outside. It was sunny and lovely and there was even a random peacock strutting about trying to get some of our food.
After our picnic was over, we went and wandered around the town a bit. There was a Roman temple that we wanted to see, and otherwise we just enjoyed the sunshine and pretty architecture of churches and other buildings.
Once we were satisfied that we’d seen enough of Evora for the day we set off on the road again, stopping to see some megalithic structures nearby known as the Almendres Cromlech. Most people know of Stonehenge, but some people might not be aware that there are lots of other monoliths, dolmens, and groups of menhirs all over Europe that are similar in terms of their size and debatable function. For any who find this really fascinating, I’d recommend seeing Carnac in France. There are so many stones it’s amazing.
However, these ones were also quite interesting. It’s impressive to look at the massive size of these rocks and imagine ancient peoples finding them and erecting them in these strange formations.
We took a few photos with the menhirs and then were on our way again, off towards Lisbon.
Of course, we arrived in Lisbon in afternoon traffic, so it was difficult to get to our hotel, and even more difficult finding parking. Nonetheless we did settle in at the Pensao Londres which had a classic old hotel feel with a good location.
We dropped our things off and relaxed a bit before setting off for dinner that evening. We ate at the Bota Alta, which had delicious foods that we all enjoyed. My brother and I both had stuffed meat (think cordon bleu) and my dad had a more traditional cod dish, which my mom just had a steak. All of it was delicious and we appreciated having a nice filling meal before setting off to walk around the city a bit.
We had hoped to find pastries, but the problem is the Portuguese eat late enough that most bakeries are closed after you’re done with dinner. So we just settled for seeing a little of the city. My favorite was running across the oldest bookshop in the world, which is something that had me squealing in delight. If there had been a book I really wanted there in English I would have bought it for sure to appease my happy book collecting self. However, nothing really stuck out.
We walked back up an incredible number of steps to get back up to our hotel. Be warned that Lisbon is a very hilly city. You will walk up and down a lot to see anything.
Well, a good night’s rest would do us good for the coming day.