Monday, October 3, 2011

NO planes, NO Trains, just Automobile

We picked up the car in Lisbon; this was very exciting as the adventure of driving through Portugal was about to commence. I was the designated driver for the trip and enjoyed every bit of zipping through the countries magnificent highways. There was almost no traffic and the zipping was controlled by Ms. GPS who warned me every time I was going too fast. The two things that made this drive a breeze was the GPS, we almost never got lost and the automatic gears which saved us as the further North we went the more winding and narrow the roads got. After this trip I have come to the conclusion that THE best way to discover a country is to drive it. We could take detours as we pleased, stop to take in the scenery and leave whenever we wanted. No planes, no trains, just our automobile – we were master’s of our time.
Evora was the first destination we drove to. We stayed at the best Bed and Breakfast. It felt like I was at home; sitting on the comfy couch reading my kindle with a glass of red wine. The organic food they served was scrumptious. The B&B is run by a couple from LA (Nina & Peter) who spoke fluent Portuguese as a result of their Brazilian descent. It was the perfect home away from home. Evora is a cute little town – the one ‘must do’ is to find a restaurant called  Botequim da Mouraria it seats only 8 people so get there early if you don’t want to wait. A hole-in-the wall place that is run by an old man – Domingo; who charms the front of the house while his wife – Florabel; cooks with much agility and skill at the back of the house. You will taste authentic delicious Portuguese cuisine here. We visited the city of Monsaraz that is not too far from Evora. The white washed walls and cobble stone roads set against the beautiful vista of lakes and mountains were breathtaking. There was not a person in sight and almost felt like I was in a movie – beautiful and surreal. Herdade de Esparoa is one of the biggest privately owned wineries in Evora and a must visit. We got to crush the grapes, walk in the fields, drink the wine and eat one of the best meals of the trip. Below are pictures that I took along the way:

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