portugal: évoratravel

September 24, 2009

MOMWARNING: Very, very weird, and just a tad homoerotic. But fun!

Photoblog of the Moment
Évora was the destination today... another rise around dawn and tons of tromping around.

My camera battery started giving warnings early on, so I used the foggy glass viewfinder all day - everything looked like a crappy old postcard, and it was tough to frame things correctly. Don't know if that will show up for other people in the day's set--

Football stadium near Johnny's flat- parking at her place is fun on game nights.

Interesting comic-ish mural at Oriente station.

Oriente train station has some very cool architecture, and the whole place has this sci-fi vibe. The word "Oriente" means Eastern, like our "Orient" and a few times when I've actually used the sun to navigate, I figure that must be where the word comes from...

Capela dos Ossos - the "Chapel of Bones" - "We bones here, for yours await" (WARNING: spooky stuff awaits...)

AAHH! The cleaning lady!

Seriously, this place is the ultimate Memento Mori...

A translation of a poem by Padre António da Ascenção posted there:
Where are you going in such a hurry traveler?
Pause ... do not advance your travel;
You have no greater concern,
Than this one: that on which you focus your sight.
Recall how many have passed from this world,
Reflect on your similar end,
There is good reason to reflect
If only all did the same.
Ponder, you so influenced by fate,
Among all the many concerns of the world,
So little do you reflect on death;
If by chance you glance at this place,
Stop for the sake of your journey,
The more you pause, the further on your journey you will be.

Saint Francis Church, and the path to that chapel.

The inside of St. Francis was huge and breathtaking.

St. Theresa -

Hit of stained glass light -

Squat toilets near the public garden. Word of these in Portugal and not, say, North Africa dismays Johnny.

Roman ruins abound this town. Actually the whole town is an exercise in building towns on top of other towns.

Just a note, this is how they label streets in Portugal, on the side of buildings on the corner.

"Temple of Diana", though every guidebook is way too quick to point out that it probably was just dedicate to the general imperial cult, not Diana.

The Graça church!

With figures of Atlas. They have 4 of 'em there!

Incidentally, these little ice cream freezers are everywhere here (or at least in all the touristy bits) I think I remember that from last time I was here. (Heh, the closest thing I've seen in the USA are those "Circus Time" or something ones up in Boston 'burbs, kind of ghetto.)

I took an audio walking tour, which made me feel like a bit of a tool, but I learned more than I would have otherwise.

Guy at the university...

Random fountain at a traffic roundabout. I was kind of bummed you couldn't really go up to it.

It's good to be king, baby!

So it was a day of gentle(ish) hazing for students beginning university... lots of marching hand-on-shoulder, singing this one song to the tune of "Oh when the saints", etc etc...

They were bossed around by older students in suits and capes.

The Cathedral of Évora -

- they let you walk around the roof of it, for reals!

Beautiful view up there. I found a shady spot and read for a bit.

Hi there! (You know, I kind of dig offering to take a picture of a couple together who are taking photos of each other, and then seeing how their shot of me comes out.)

So, yeah, another building of outstanding age and tremendous beauty, yadda yadda. No, I kid, it was pretty neat, but I was cranky I couldn't take photos of the art and stuff.

My train ticket was for pretty late, so I had some time to kill. One of the discoveries I made was this nifty small gallery of great moments in design, the collection of Paulo Parra...

Heh, would Lego feel different if it came in neat boxes like that?

The gallery was in an old chapel - I'm sure the proximity of this to the old sacred relics was deliberate.

Bye town square! And good bye camera battery - everything after this I took with my iPhone.

Super Bock is the big local beer. Johnny says it has a great reputation - at first I thought it was a bit thin, but I kind of warmed up to it.

At the train station, it was kind of funny how the guy just climbed in and - you know, started up the train. I don't know why that struck me as strange, to start a truck kinda like a big old diesel truck, but still.

We set a course for a lovely sunset.

I guess it's rude to take photos of strangers without getting permission, but I just loved the relaxed pose of these girls heading home on the subway.

Finally, for no particular reasons, 3 fire hydrants (2 from earlier in the day)