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Telmo finished laser-cutting and we began assembling lanterns: 19 with our designs cut directly into the cardboard, 9 with the designs cut in parchment paper to be glued to cardboard frames and 11 with dried flowers pressed between two sheets of translucent paper. The parchment paper lanterns are extremely delicate - even when working with FabLab technology we still have ended up with a very ephemeral installation.
With all 40 lanterns assembled we now can turn our attention to being tourists. We took the bus to Beja to pick up a rental car - a small Renault that is a bit bigger than the Fiat 500 we reserved but still small enough to make it difficult for Paul to slip his clown-sized shoes into and out of the door, especially when close parking doesn't allow for fully ajar egress.
We walked the old town but, according to the helpful woman at the Information office, most were closed on Mondays. The castle was quite impressive, and impressively restored. It was one of the first constructed with offensive military strategy to fight off attackers rather than merely defensive resistance of a siege as the central purpose. The step steps reminded us that we have become flat-landers in Florida whose legs are more accustomed to level walking than climbs. We delighted in discovering may different mason symbols chiseled into the stones.
We also enjoyed the Igreja de Nossa Senhora (it seems that devotion to Mary is significant here) with the gold leaf overlaid carved wood chapel. In Portugal everything but restaurants close for two hours so we decided to go for lunch. We really enjoyed the cold melon soup. After lunch we strolled through the remains of a Franciscan monastery that is now an upscale hotel.
The next day we drove to the coast. Odemira's highlights include a beautiful river walk and a still working windmill. It is sited on one of the least polluted rivers in Europe with beautiful hills and valleys. The drive there reminded us of mountain roads with steep ups and downs and rather sharp turns. Then onto the coast: first the very typical touristy beach town of Vila Nova de Milfontes, then to gorgeous cliffs and beach of Zambujeira de Mar and Praia de Carvalhal - which all the other tourists had sought out as well due to its advertised "less popular and secluded" status.
Returning through Odemira was a bit harrowing as we drove back through town and up the very narrow, steep "two-way" streets with tight turns and minimal signage. We sighted the windmill and the way out from the top of a hill and so we went back down into the labyrinth of cobblestone paths and somehow managed to get on the route home. We detoured to Teotónio and tried to no avail to find the Associação de Artesãos. The next day Sara shared that she and Carlos also couldn't find it on one of their trips.