Portugal- We arrived at Évora by car, one stop during a road trip around Portugal and the south of Spain. This city, and in fact Alentejo, the region, is too pretty for words. This gorgeous travel photos by my husband have absolutely no filter. This is how stunning this Unesco Herritage Site is. I wanted to stay specifically in Pousada Convento de Évora, a real 500 year old convent converted into a hotel, with much of its original architecture, such as courtyard, cloisters and monk cells (the rooms, nowadays) preserved. It was so worth it. The surroundings are a trip to another era, not to mention the location, between the Catedral Gótica de Évora and the Templo de Diana (the city of Évora was the headquarters of the Roman commander Quintus Sertorius in 80-72 BC). From here you can walk the small town in all directions. Head first to Plaça do Giraldo which is the town main square and eat in the stalls, drink Portuguese green wine and catch live music if you are lucky. Hard to believe this lively place used to be an execution ground during the Inquisition, but now is swarmed by people, shops, and cafes. One end of this square has a fountain built in 1571, facing the Santo Antao Church built in the reinassance period. We were keen on having our first dinner here at the famous Fialho Restaurant, but it was packed. Usually my husband and I are really good at getting tables without reservation at very hard to get into places (it's years of practice) but this time, there was no way around it. So, famished, we decided to take the small detour and stop at the first place we saw with no tourists on sight. It turned out to be a small taverna where a group of locals were watching a soccer game (of course). With our Spanish and their Portuguese we somehow understood each other. They were thrilled to have us there and proceeded to bring us a plate of cheeses (Evora, Nisa and Pico DOP), cured hams, artisanal breads, olives picked up from nearby, and a great wine. I have no idea how we had a conversation with them, but we sure did. We laughed, we ate and had an unforgettable night. Even if their team lost the soccer match, we all won.
Happy small detours!