portugal journal, june, part I

Nov 23rd, 2006, 09:45 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 123
portugal journal, june, part I

I enjoyed reading many post from here while planning our trip to Portugal. Here is my husband's journal.

The flight to Portugal went very well. One highlight was the cabin steward making the announcements on the Air France plane from Boston to Paris. With every announcement he would praise Americans and tell us the French love us and we would enjoy our time in France.
We had a short layover in Paris, when we made it to our gate for the Lisbon flight it was already boarding. Our bags made it okay, but the clothes inside were mysteriously damp.
Renting the car was easy and we headed through Lisbon, over the April 25 Bridge, past the replica of the South American statue of Christ overlooking Lisbon with a first stop at Caparica Beach. It was very long, very wide, and being a Saturday, thousands were there. We walked 3 of its 12 miles.
Next stop was Palmela Castle, which was a 12th century Moorish castle, captured from them, and enlarged by successive kings.
It was then on to Setubal where we found our hotel, cleaned up, then walked around the town. We stopped in the Church of Christ built in the 15th century with the best example of early Manueline architecture.
We then decided because of the heat it was better to drive, so we drove through the Arrabide Mountains and reached Sesimbro. It had a nice beach and its own castle which we visited; it was built in the 17th century. Unfortunately gnats attacked us here as they had in Setubal.
Back to Setubal, where we ate at a nice restaurant. We each had grilled sea bass, potatoes, salad and bread- I had beer- Teresa water.
Now time for sleep… early to bed, late to rise. We both needed the 13 hours. After breakfast we had our longest road trip, 2 hours to Praia do Rocha (Beach of Rock), several miles of picturesque beach, somewhat crowded. We parked in the middle and walked along the beach to one end and back. We read until 3:30 and headed back to the car, on the way we stopped at a restaurant and shared a mixed salad and pizza. Afterwards I got a chocolate gelato, Teresa refrained, seemingly intent on keeping her trim 125 pound figure. She was aided in that quest when she apparently suffered from food poisoning and gave up her lunch upon our arrival in Selema.
We checked in, Teresa started feeling better and by 7:30 we were ready to head out. We walked a while before dinner. I had grilled tuna with onion sauce, Teresa had the local special, cataplano, a fish stew. Both meals were very good. We walked a bit more before heading back to the room, where we sat on our balcony overlooking the ocean and read for a while. The temperature was very pleasant; Thankfully Setubal had been an aberration.
The next morning we went to Cape Sagres and Cape St. Vincent. Both claim to be the sites of Prince Henry’s School and being the westernmost points of Europe
Cape Sagres has a fort, Cape St. Vincent, a lighthouse. Both have beautiful panoramas of cliffs by the sea.
Henry started his maritime school after he orchestrated a successful attack on a Moroccan city. He was intrigued by the nautical information found there so he decided to start a school, and using money from the monastery to which he belonged, to organize expeditions. The school taught not only navigation, but shipbuilding, sail making, languages, seamanship and marketing.
He sent out several expeditions south on the west side of Africa but real fruition came after his death. Magellan, Vasco de Gama, and a foreigner, Christopher Columbus were taught there, among many other notables.
I picked up a bratwurst for lunch; Teresa had almonds, yogurt and cherries.
After viewing the 2 capes, we made it to Praia de Casteljo. Rick Steves wrote that you need not go there if you grew up in Fiji. Interesting beach with huge rock formations but very windy.
We drove back to our beach after a nature walk nearby.
Dinner at Baca, overlooking the ocean and prawn boats. I had chicken piri-piri, Teresa had tuna salad.
TeresaJAT is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2006, 12:39 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Here's a like to our pictures.
TeresaJAT is offline  
Nov 25th, 2006, 04:48 PM
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TeresaJAT is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 03:43 AM
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Great pictures and interesting
report(s). Thanks.
Barbara5353 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 08:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,676
I've enjoyed your reports. We're considering a trip to Portugal next year (probably September timeframe). Thanks!
SusanInToronto is offline  
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