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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

After Madrid

This itinerary story will be all out of order. The pictures are here.But one of the main reasons for this Spanish soirée was to visit the city of Badajoz. In 1811 British forces under Sir Arthur Wellesley who later became the Duke of Wellington attacked the citadel of Badajoz which was being held by French forces. It was a bloody fight as one section of the wall surrounding the city was breached. Led by a suicide squad of volunteers known as "The Forlorn Hope," the British successfully poured through and 5,000 men from each side died. The amazing thing is hardly anyone living in Badajoz today knowns anything about the battle. Our hotel was 50 meters from the front of the hotel and the receptionist had never heard of it.

But evidence of the fortress which stood since the 11th century is all around. Sections of the old walls are seen within a parking deck.

From Badajoz we shot into Portugal to the cities of Elvas and Evora. Elvas consists of three fortresses. In fact it was the most heavily fortified city in Europe. Two of the forts were basically empty. MArk and I were the only ones there. But Elvas proper was a really cool little city.

Evora is a UNESCO World Heritage city. The weirdest place in it was the Capela dos Ossos, the Chapel of the Bones. The walls, ceiling, trim, the whole joint is constructed of human bones and skulls. On the walls are two ancient decomposing bodies.

Between Elvas and Evora we stopped at what we thought was a winery. Turns out it was a boutique hotel. The hotel was closed, but the two ladies there (one of which has been nominated Mark's future ex-wife) were more than happy to show us around and part with three bottles of their estate vintage. VERY good!

We made our way then back into Spain, Seville to be precise. Along the way we passed this city dominated by yet another medieval castle.


Star Light said...

Mike, you are a remarkable photographer and all the photos are interesting (some ghastly) but well done. If you read my recent post on elephants being electrocuted after drinking rice beer, would you please send me the link to your post where you show pictures of you with the elephants? I couldn't find it on your blog...so much to sort through. I'd like to show the link of you with the elephants, if it's ok with you. Jan

Anonymous said...

Wow, fabulous pictures....Can't wait for you to come and narrate them for us. The place with the bones is quite eerie!!!!. Happy travels. Mom

Star Light said...

Hey Mike, I just found the page with your elephant escapades and added the link on my blog post. If it's not ok with you let me know...otherwise, thanks for the fabulous photos to share! Jan