Published: June 24th 2012June 24th 2012
Lisbon day 2
Today we had the chance to sleep in, all the way to 7:00 AM! We were heading today to some smaller towns around Lisbon.
Our first stop this morning was the fishing village of Cascais. This small village is filled with small shops, restaurants and seaside sights. It is a resort town where the locals go to relax, especially on the weekend. We saw some of the major sights and then had some free time for shopping. We were able to buy some more Port Wine and enjoyed an espresso. Then back to the bus for the short ride to Sintra.
Sintra was the summer palace of the King of Portugal. Here we were to tour the summer palace; however Cathy and I had been here before so we decided to shop the many shops of Sintra. Alla decided to join us while Rick took the tour.
Sintra proved to be a shopping bonanza with many unusual handmade items such as ceramics, art, port wines (I tasted 6 more wines) and different items made of cork.
It is amazing what can be made from cork. It seems that they have developed technology to treat cork like leather. So anything that can be made of leather can be made of cork. Now only is it soft and pliable like leather but it is also as strong as leather. We saw clothes, dresses, shoes, wallets, pocketbooks, pens, glasses and many other items. Lily, our daughter in law in South Carolina, now owns a beautiful cork pocketbook!
We continued to shop and Rick caught up with us after his tour. We visited an art gallery selling local art, tasted more port wines and tried some amazing sweets in the local pastry shop. We also stopped for some Sangria and soon it was time to return to the bus and return to the hotel where we were given the rest of the day to free time and the beach!
We returned to the hotel at 2:00 PM and took a short nap till 2:30. Cathy and I headed to the beach joined by Alla, Rick was too tired and said he would meet us after lunch and join us for a swim. Since our hotel was directly across the street from the beach we decided to eat lunch at one of the local beach restaurants.
We dined on local fare, Cathy and Alla shared a tuna salad while I enjoyed a Draagon Sandwich. A Draagon Sandwich consists of layers of chicken, salad greens, pineapple and a light sauce on thin soft strange bread. The bread is called North Bread and comes from Norway, how it got to Portugal I will never know, but I was glad it made the journey, it was delicious.
As always we struck up a conversation with the restaurant proprietor. We commented that his English was excellent and he told us he was born in Mozambique and educated by the English. He also told us he spent some time in the US and were surprised to find he was in New Jersey! Even more interesting was he worked in Newark at a restaurant called Iberia, one that we had dined in several times years ago. Small world, no?
Rick was to join us after lunch for a swim, so Alla called him from the hotel lobby but he was fast asleep and could not be roused. So we three went to the beach alone.
The beach was beautiful. The sand was sun baked and soft and HOT. The water was aquamarine and looked inviting. We picked a spot and Alla and I headed to the water. There was a slight breeze coming off the water so although the temperature was nearly 100 degrees it felt wonderful.
We stuck out tootsies in the water and learned all too quickly…it was COLD and I mean cold. I thought it was not as cold as Costa del Sol but it took your breath away when the waves hit you. The water was crystal clear and you could easily walk 100 yards and not get to your shoulders. It took some doing but we got used to the cold and were able to play in the waves and enjoy the time in the Atlantic. Soon it was time to go back to the hotel for a nap. We needed to be well rested for the special dinner tonight at the local fish restaurant. Chris may remember this place; it was where he was treated to a private tour of the dessert room!