Each time I got up on my first night in Évora I could hear the drums. What was going on?
Évora is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is the capital of the Alentejo region of Portugal less than two hours from Lisbon. We are staying in an old convent, the Pousada dos Loios with a Roman Temple right outside our front door. (The Roman columns and the Christian Cross puts a certain relevance into Roman and Catholic.) The well preserved town centre is still partially enclosed by medieval walls and a large number of monuments from various historical periods, including the 16th Century University.
The ‘drums’ I hear are the thud-thud-thud from the University musical groups of students in black capes and coloured linings as well as different merit badges showing their studies (known as Tunas). They are participating in a Tuna Festival in the cloisters of the old University just below my convent cell. We went down last night after dinner and joined them, but departed back to our cots at midnight. And they had only just begun!
Obviously there are no ‘studies’ this week.