Evora about 1hr by bus from Lisbon, A UNESC nominated city. white-washed in white and puke yellow, lots of little narrow alleys leading from the main square out in tendrils to the Old wall that encircles and protects this lovely little country town.
Our hotel is very central, just 50 mtres from the town square, which is the main drop off area for most of the tourist coaches that convey the hordes to this sleepy little town, The town itself is beautiful, lots of old churches, museums etc etc not forgetting the selling of cork products such as hats, dresses, handbags, picture frames, tea-towls,light-shades, pens, you name it they make it in cork, foods not bad either especially the little tarts, yummy. so enough of the small chatter.
The main reason for this visit to Evora was to visit the Capital of the Iberian Megalithic culture, I have never experienced these processes in my life so was very eager to get a taste of these ancient path-ways.
The hotel where Susi and I are staying, Evora Inn. our host suggested we use a local tour Co called Backcountry Tours, so we booked a 5 hr tour of some of the main local megalithic sites. I had no real expectations but had seen Photos of the sites. So off we went, 2 other guys from our hotel joined us. our first stop was the visitors centre for the ancient cave site of Escoural Cave. they had lots of info, and good displays on what to see in the local area. we then drove to the small site of the Escoural Cave complex about 10 minutes drive away. others were waiting at the entrance, in total there were about 8 of us plus the cave tour director, a young lady who had passion for this site in every word she shared with us and she had a lot to say. she was great, the cave itself was quite small, we could only walk about 50 mtres in total, it was well lit, nice walking platforms, etc etc. now there were several small faint paintings, Painted about 20,000 BC, and several Engravings done between 15-10,000 BC. they were mainly of animals that roamed the local area during that period in time. the one that touched me was the drawing of a three headed horse—Wow, Wow, Wow, loved it. sad no Photography was allowed in the cave at all. But still this was my first experience of ancient cave art……lucky me.
Next we visited the the huge Almendres megalithic site of standing stones. this is the largest megalithic monument in the Iberian Peninsula. this is the area where this megalithic stone building arose from, spreading to Europe and beyond over 7,000 years ago at the dawn of the Neolithic period. there are around 100 standing stone monoliths, some of which are decorated. this my first experience of a standing stone circle …lucky me. it was like being in another world.
Next we visited the solitary menhir standing stone, called The Monte dos Almendres menhir. its about 5mtres high and just beautiful. around the same age as the standing stones well over 7,000 years old. loved it, yea my first experience of an ancient menhir. the Gods still like me…I hope,
Next we visited the ancient large Zambujeiro Dolmen….not over impressed here as they had placed a tin roof over it…?…and done some “Bad” restoration work on it, poor thing looked like it had been through the wars,,,but from the top looking down where its top was looked rather impressive.
Next we visited a most wonderful very cute and intact single Dolmen, now here is what i had been waiting for, for over 40 years to see, enjoy and feel, yummy. like heaven, it was just superb and just on sunset we experienced it. great experience for both Susi and myself.
All these wonderful experiences in one afternoon…..how good is that..I won’t write about these sacred monuments from their spiritual worth now. but I will do a second part to this Blog at a later date when I have more access to the notes that i need to do it justice.
A few Photo’s of the sacred sites visited. enjoy.