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Miles from Now/here Today: Adventures in Evora, Redondo, Lisbon

November 4, 2009

I woke with this Cat Stevens song in my head as the rain gently falls on the Roman ruins outside my room, the wind howls, and the morning traffic honks. Voices murmur outside my room in Portuguese and  English. I open the curtains and the sun flashes on the dark wet ruins and white plaster walls. As much as I try, my little camera can’t capture the intense contrasts of light and dark. These images of Evora are from yesterday morning and show how the people here have integrated the Roman aquaduct into their very houses. Evora houses use aquaduct for walls

“Miles from Nowhere
guess I’ll take my time
oh yeah to reach there

Lord my body
has been a good friend
oh yeah til we reach the end

I love everything
it makes me feel glad
I love everything
my honey I sing to that
I sing to that”

Don’t quote me on those exact lyrics; they are easy enough to find on the internet. These are the lyrics I was hearing Cat Stevens sing this morning in my head–in more or less the way I remember him singing it recently on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic–sometimes with the variation “I’ll drink to that.”  But I couldn’t find that version on the internet for you!

Don’t we all do that? Make the lyrics say what we want them to say anyway?

So what’s up for today? If it clears enough, I am going to put some coffee in my thermal cup I brought from the States for use on the plane (ever notice how much waste happens on planes? Just imagine how much less it would be if people just brought their own cups!!)

aquaduct in evoraAnd downstairs at breakfast I will grab some flaky croissants, some beautiful fruit from the bowl (so beautiful that yesterday I had to double check to make sure it was real and not fake!), and borrow one of the hotel’s bikes to ride around on the narrow cobbled streets inside the walled city of Evora. Every hotel should offer up bikes free to its

I would love to spend more time here in Evora. It’s gorgeous, yes, but there’s an energy here that I am in love with. Yes the town has possibly the best restaurant Fialho in Portugal and certainly the best they say when it comes to Alentejo gastonomy (and where we ate last night! wow, the octopus was so tender! and the goat defies description!); the restaurant is so famous that today, a book is being launched featuring its recipes and story. I was presented with a copy last night and I look forward to experimenting with its recipes when I get back home.a woman in EstremozSM

There are many more wonderful restaurants featuring the delicious regional cuisine, but there is something else here, something to feel about the pace of the place, the genorousity of heart in the people. This older woman pictured and I waved and exchanged evening pleasantries. More investigation required!

I need to finish packing up this morning as we will drive today to our third and last winery, Redondo, in the town of Redondo.  Redondo is another large cooperative of grape growers which Enoforum works with so we will once again taste the local winery’s offerings as well as Enoforum’s. Then we’ll drive back west toward Lisbon where we visit Belem which is the most well-known historic site in Portugal and offers a particular custard pastry which is shared elsewhere but this is where it is done best.Alentex wines from Enoforum

As Enoforum is sponsoring my trip, you’d expect me to tell you their wines are great. But let me say, that so far what I’m most impressed with is how much wine you get for the price. These Alentex wines will retail for under $10 a bottle. When these wines get into the market in the United States, like at Trader Joe’s, they are going to knock people’s socks off. They have so much flavor, character, and complexity for the money, and they go so well with a range of foods that they will fly off the shelves. It will be fun when people start telling ME about these wines!

You can learn more about Enoforum Wines, including the ones I mentioned, here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2009 5:40 pm

    A journey through walls whispering past affairs in the art of living..coming from the dead or in our head for places we might have already been
    The circle in the sand, the worn ruts in the cobblestones, the wake of a vessel…. all looking to find ourselves
    the visions nudge, the feelings unfold the petals of memory illuminesant in light
    for who we really are

    a joyous celebration for knowing you gwyn, bobbijo

  2. November 7, 2009 1:04 am

    Nice,
    Guess I will take my time to reach there, cause I wont need my body in the end………………..Paraphrase Cat Stevens
    M

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