Sunday, June 25, 2006


Portugal, June 2006

Bob attended a fine conference run by the central bank of Portugal and Sooz joined at the end of the conference. We made a circle through the midsection of the country, starting in Evora, the site of the conference, spending three days in Lisbon, two days along the coast northwest of Lisbon, then traveling east to the Spanish border at Marvao, then west again to Lisbon. We avoided the beaches of the Algarve and the mountains and wine region of the north. We concentrated on villages, ruins, and good food. Got plenty of all of them.

The major stops were in churches with affiliated monestaries and convents:

Convent of Espinheiro, Evora, now a hotel, where the conference was held

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos with Santa Maria de Belem, Lisbon

Mosteiro da Batalha

Mosteiro de Santa Maria, Alcobaca

Convento de Christo, Tomar

We also visited nifty hill towns, including Estremoz, Sintra, Obidos, and Marvao, the Roman ruins at Conimbriga (the best in Iberia, but not to be compared to Tunisia), and Elvas, sister city to Graceland. The hill towns all have well-preserved medieval castles, which are so common in Portugal as to merit little comment.

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