Evocative Evora

July 01, 2008


Shockingly, it cost us almost 36 euros for the toll rode from the Algarve to Evora, the highest price for a toll road thus far. It was a really nice road ( new, clean, wide), but the price stunned us, since most things in Portugal are lower priced.  It would probably cost half that for a car, but we might have taken a different route had we known as it was just a few hours drive.

It was worth the trouble, as we found Evora to be an enchanting, architectural gem.  Obitur is the most popular camping corporation in Portugal and we stayed at  Orbitur Camping Evora. One can walk or take a bus from the campsite into the small, charming town that is very rich in history, but small enough to be easily walkable. It  has a well preserved , walled medieval old town that is only a kilometer in diameter.

There are similarities between Spain and Portugal, but you can definitely tell that you are in a different country. I was surprised that the language sounds so different as many of the words are the same. Portuguese has a very different sound for the most part that reminds one more of Greek or Russian. The architecture also has a different and distinct look. We use both our Spanish and English when trying  to communicate and that helps some, although both are lacking.

It appears that Italian and Spanish are closer than Portuguese and Spanish which surprised me. Reading Portuguese seemed easier than listening to it, as the sounds are so very different, yet many words are very similar. I also still dumbfounded as to why Japanese and Portugal words for "thank you" are so very similar in sounds and wonder if there is a connection.

The main square, Praca do Gilraldo  is lovely today, but I read after our visit that many were burned there during the inquisition. The horrors of history here still affect me. One of the lovely surprises in Evora brought back shades of last years ancient history tour, the stunning roman-era ,Temple of Diana. I loved how it contrasted and enhanced the other buildings and park near it. They often hold well lit concerts there in the high season summer which looked enticing.  We paused and admired it from  a little outdoor table near the park,  as Mozart nibbled on a cinnamon pastry. Then we wandered deeper through the narrow streets to the cathedral, walls, and another chapel of bones!













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Wonderful pictures!

Your toll road story reminded me of the time I decided to drive across Denmark with my kids.

To go from Zealand to Funen, we gleefully crossed the 18km Storebæltsforbindelsen Bridge.

The toll was 205 Danish kroner (about $43). Ouch. It was dumb luck that I had that much cash on me!


Thanks Jamie! Boy, that does sound like a shock! We are headed to Scandinavia this year, thankfully staying with friends for part of our stay, so have had plenty of warning of the prices there.

We just did not expect Scandinavia prices in Portugal! ;)

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