Saturday, 23 July 2016 – Day 38 – Lisbon to Cascais, Portugal

Saturday, 23 July 2016 – Day 38 – Lisbon to Cascais, Portugal 

Had a wakeup call at 7.00a.m. Down for breakfast and this was my last day in beautiful Lisbon. The main neighbourhoods are Baixa (Downtown), Bairro Alto  & Chiado, Alfama, Parque das Nacoes and Belem.  It is surrounded by 7 hills and so many alleyways as well as the beautiful wide squares and beautiful parks and gardens. The main streets and squares are : Comercio, Rossio, Rua Augusta, Minicipal, Camoes, Restauradores, Avenida da Liberdade and Marques de Pombal. There are many beautiful churches: Some of these include the Sao Vicente d,e Fora, Saint Anthony, Graca Church, Estrela Basilica, The Cathedral and Jeronimos Monastery.  The 25 April Bridge, the Statue of Christ, Monument to the Discoveries and Belem Tower and St. George’s Castle are some of the wonderful architectural structures.  And of course the trams or elevators were a great way to travel around and take the weight of your feet. Even though there seemed to be thousands of people in Lisbon, you did not feel as though you were being “crushed”. Another great thing about being in Lisbon – you did not have to cope with “beggars” or the multitude of “on the street” sellers.

There was so much to try and see and one could stay here longer and still not get to see all the main attractions.

I booked out of my accommodation and got a taxi to the Cais do Sodre railway station to get my ticket to Cascais.  Before I went in, I watched some workmen cutting up rocks to put in the cobbled walkways. What a job!

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Men laboriously cutting up rocks for the cobbled streets

Got my ticket Caught the 9.20a.m. We travelled along the Tagus river for some distance and we passed through the stations of Alges, Paragem, Paco Da Arcos, Oliras, Carcavelos, Parede, Sao Pedro do Estoril, Monte Estoril and finally to Cascais at 10.00am. Was a very enjoyable trip in a very comfortable and clean railway carriage.

I rang Mark and Terri (friends I met at the Taj Mahal, India in 2013) and they came and collected me at 10.45 and we drove into the centre of Cascais to a Cafe in the Parque Visconde Da Luz (Viscount of Light) where we had a coffee and the famous Pastel de Nata (Custard Tart).

Beach in Cascais

Beach in Cascais

We then walked along the Beach to the Casa Museu de Castro Guimaraes Carmona Park.

The Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães, the former “Torre de S. Sebastião”, was built in 1900 by Jorge O’Neill.
In 1910, the Count Manuel de Castro Guimarães aquires the house and after his death (1927) donated his estate, including his garden, to the people of Cascais. His desire was to build an art museum and a public library. The museum opened on July 12, 1931. The Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães collection includes significant national and international paintings, furniture, porcelain and jewellery.
We entered the Museum and went into the “Clover Room”. We had not been in there for more than a couple of minutes when an attendant asked us for our tickets. Terri thought it was free but this is not the case now. We were going to purchase our tickets but we were then told it would be closing in 10 minutes so we decided we would not visit so walked into the beautiful gardens of the Parque Marechal Carmona.
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 It was lovely and cool and we spent some time watching the young peacocks. I have never seen any little one before. They seemed quite tame so probably used to people wandering around.
In the Parque Marechal Carmona

In the Parque Marechal Carmona

Mark went and got the car and we drove to Penedo and Colares (Coolarish) in the Serra De Sintra. The Sintra Mountains, is a mountain range in western Portugal. Its highest point is near Sintra. The range covers about 10 miles from the resort town of Sintra to Cabo da Roca on the Atlantic Ocean.

We had lunch in a nice little cafe  – Pastelaria Cantinho da Varzea. I ordered a  Tosta de Atum (Toasted tuna sandwich) and a beer and then continued our drive towards Cabo da Roca.

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We continued on passing the Praia das Macas (The Apple Beach) one of the country’s most visited beaches. During the early days, apples, which fell off their trees and into a river that flows continuously to the beach, were scattered in the sea waters and coastlines; thus, the name Apple Beach.  The journey in this area was very picturesque with the  golden sands, the crystal clear Atlantic waters, and the towering cliffs along Praia das Macas coastline.  We saw a historical tramcar that goes from Sintra, stops in Colares and ends in Praia das Macas Beach. The journey to this beautiful and magnificent beach can take approximately 45 minutes.

After lunch we continued onto Cabo da Roca.  Cabo da Roca is 18km west from Sintra, 15km north from Cascais and 40km west of Lisbon. It is the most westerly point of the continent of Europe. It was very blustery but you had to take in the beautiful views – up to the lighthouse and out to the Atlantic Ocean.

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We had a very drive back to my accommodation but I did not have the correct code so we went to Mark’s and Terri’s to help me out. That got sorted out so we then went to dinner at the Natraj Indian Restaurant. This was a very popular restaurant and you realised why as the food and service was superb.

Mark and me at the Indian restaurant

Mark and me at the Indian restaurant

After a terrific day with Mark and Terri I was dropped off at my accommodation, the Lisbon Beach Estoril Rooms. I was in the Surf Suite. It was then to bed.

 

 

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