(Cars go down this street… granted it’s one way)
We have arrived in a really friendly town, called Soure. Initially we had been pronouncing it Sewer but we discovered it is pronounced Soar – much more appropriate. There’s a castle here and if the torrential rain will just hold off for fifteen minutes I’ll go and get some photos and maybe a little historic information. There’s also a museum so I’m definitely going to that. Two rivers meet at the town’s edge and there are lots of old bridges, one particularly narrow. Thankfully they have put lights on it so only one car can go across at a time. There’s a library here too, with free wifi. Denis spent some time there yesterday afternoon, so I’ll have a look today.
(Igreja de S.Tiago… big clock)
When Denis got back from the library we went off for a walk around the town, hopefully I will have pictures by the time you read this, if not,I can tell you: the streets are narrow and cobblestoned with old buildings. We stopped off at a cafe for a drink and when Denis got up to pay, one of the customers came over to talk to him. It was the chief of police (I think that’s what he said) and he wanted to welcome us to Portugal! He had brilliant English and he was very familiar with the history of the area and of Portugal.
(Here you go, Grahame! From one police officer to another!)
He told us that Soure was given a charter by the King in 1111 for its critical role in the war against the enemy at the time (Moors I think). Our friend, the chief of police, had travelled a lot in his work and I guess he recognised that travellers like to meet the locals. We certainly liked meeting him. He introduced us to the Lupin bean, something the locals were nibbling alongside their drinks. Never heard of it before but it’s on Wikipedia if you’d like to find out about it.
(Stained glass window in Igreja de S.Tiago. Now I’m wondering if that’s a shell on his hat and if Igreja S.Tiago is the Portuguese way of saying Church of Santiago? Is Soure on the Portuguese Camino de Santiago?)
He also told us about roman ruins at Monografico de Conimbriga, just 12 km from here. I’ve searched for them on Trip Advisor and they look and sound very interesting so we’ll head off to those tomorrow. We chatted happily for about an hour and then Denis and I left in great form to find the local tapas restaurant. It was dark so not easy to find. I was hoping for a sign… when I looked up and saw a Guinness sign….right over the tapas restaurant! I guess that was a sign. We had very tasty chicken gizzards in a spicy pepper sauce. Yum!
Main message from our new friend: Portugal is very safe and you guys are very welcome over here! Mairead.