It was evening when we pulled up along the aqueduct for a free couple of nights parking. A lovely little spot with the golden hour setting in. There was a stunning glow against the arches. To save some pennies we ate in our van looking out before wandering into the old town centre to get out bearings for the following morning. It was relatively early (around 9pm) when we started headed in but it felt like a ghost town. There was genuinely hardly anyone around around, we felt like we only had the chirping swallows for company. The old centre itself is a walled city filled with stunningly ancient buildings, ruins, castles and churches, I loved walking aimlessly down these deserted streets, only twinkling street lights overhead. I wasn’t ready to go to sleep just yet so looked online to find a bar. Let me tell you the places were few and far between. I eventually found one and it looked closed, we feebly pushed the door to find it opened. There was not a soul in sight but by that point it was too late to turn around and the friendly, if a little kooky, owner was already ushering us in and sitting us comfortably. The music kicked into life and we sipped our drinks. He was genuinely lovely and even gave us some tips on places to see in the local area but after our drinks I thought we best call it a night. Our little spot was so peaceful it wasn’t difficult to drift off and we were keen to get up early to so we were ready for the real reason we came – the chapel of the bones.
As soon as the place opened we were outside the front doors of the museum surrounding the Church of Misericordia. We explored the exhibitions to make the most of our pass before heading into the extremely creepy chapel of bones. It doesn’t seem real and even now writing this its hard to believe I have witnessed a whole room built with the human remains of so many people who once walked the streets I was on only the night before. The quote inscribed before entering reply sent a chill down my spine. In latin it translates to “We bones that lie here we are waiting for yours”. Yep so that was the chapel of bones! From there we explored the roman temple and also the cathedral which were stunning especially against the bright blue sky. We were still in Portugal and felt we needed a snack so of course we had to have a Portuguese tart. We needed to also take shelter form the hot midday sun and so dived into a little cafe Fabrica dos Pasteis. The tarts were fresh from the oven and were being put out as we entered so it must have been fate. They were absolutely divine, probably the best I have ever tasted. They were so good in fact that we each had two! Joshua being a growing boy was still of course hungry and saw they did bifna. Now we had seen signs for bifana and wanted to know what it was all about so handy google came to the rescue. Apparently, if you want laymen terms, it’s a pork batch but they differ wherever you are especially from north to south. Anyway he enjoyed his bifana and we got back on the road.