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Published: April 22nd 2018
Thursday: Bright and early, on this gorgeous sunny day, Glen, Karen, Mike, and I hopped on the Metro then smoothly transitioned to our train. Destination...the beach town of Cascais. Shorts and capris, sunscreen and hats, and most importantly, NO COATS!! Yippee! Thanks to Mike and a chatty Lisbon Uber driver, we had a walking tour and a lunch destination. A stop at the Info booth gave us a map and directions to some cool "not to miss" places to see. Looked like a fun day to me.
First stop after the train was an outdoor cafe for cappuccino at the tiny Rainha Beach, where we decided when and where to meet for lunch. Four people are generally too many to keep together on these jaunts and deciding to split always seems to work better for us. After walking down the busy Avenue, Mike and I headed to the town center and the Riberia Beach, with its beautiful mosaic plaza, palm trees and a mix of hotels, inns, and restaurants. The grand Municipal building/marina balcony overlooked the water on one side. There was a group of four young men playing handsfree volleyball, who used their feet, hands and bodies to move
the ball. We sat in the warm sun and watched their amazing game for quite a while.
Up and down the narrow streets, exploring the city and its sites, we happened upon the Marechal Carmona Park, a huge community park. There were an amazing number of chickens and noisy roosters. Whoever said that roosters only crow at dawn, forgot to tell these guys. We also saw several peacocks and varieties of ducks that we had never seen before. This park had a little zoo, a children's area and learning center, pools, ponds, flowers, trees, and cool statues. We could have stayed all day but the coastline was calling us.
Similar to northern California, the coast was steep and rugged with small rocky islands. The water wasn't as rough as the Pacific Ocean, but it was certainly enough to cause some cool erosion pattern. As the tide came in, the waves would pound their way over the rocks and into the walls, spraying salt water everywhere. No OSHA, so anyone can climb up and down with reckless abandon. Scary.
Lunch at a great lookout point called Boca do Inferno (Hell's Mouth), a deep chasm with a tunnel access
in the rocks, is located here. Great picture taking!
Strolling back down the coastal road, Glen and Karen went to a car museum and Mike and I headed to the Castro Guimaraes museum. What a great find! This is a summer palace built in 1900 then donated to the city upon the death of the Count in 1927. It is filled with some very interesting pieces, including a 7ft "portable" organ. One of the most interesting parts of the house is the tower and its former owner's sword collection. Nooks and crannies abound, with beautiful views of the sea in one direction, the trees of the park in the other. The cloister garden was so cool and peaceful. A cute little mission-style chapel sitting outside the front doors was locked, but not wanting to miss out on my daily God fix, I took a photo through the keyhole!
Back down to Ribeira Beach and the city center for a snack and glass of wine. On the way, Karen and I picked out houses that Glen and Mike will surely get us for Xmas this year. The fishermen had returned to the port by then and their colorful boats
dotted the protected bay. We decided to follow the promenade along the beach to the next town of Estoril where we would catch the train back to Lisbon. Before leaving, we ate dinner at a seaside restaurant and watched the surfers as the sun went down. Quite the day.
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