Day 1 on the road in Portugal took us to Villa Vicosa, the home of the Dukes of Braganza. And then here to the old city of Evora for our first taste of staying in a pousada. You can imagine the setting of these grand old convents and monasteries on the best hills with a smart interior designer coming in and having carte blanche to redecorate. It’s very comfortable except some of the staff may once have been gardeners for all they care about serving breakfast with a smile in the cloisters.
I cracked my head on my cell door as I was leaving this morning but I think I’ve managed to staunch the blood flow now. I don’t dare touch the sticky lump though. Edmundo is in good form and our happy American driver Greg is a walking encyclopaedia and eager to share all about his adopted country. I’ve given up on trying to absorb who begot whom and whose brother killed the other to put his nephew on the throne. This is a holiday!
The food is remarkable. The selection of cold antipasti at dinner last night looks so simple but tastes out of this world – olive oil, garlic and coriander is used a lot. Our grilled grouper with a side plate of rice and clams (think wet risotto) was sensational. It took Edmundo to go choose the caramelised prune (think thick caramel!) to go with the decaffeinated espresso. We had to walk home uphill over the cobblestones and do a quick circuit of the town at midnight or else I could never have slept.