When Your Vacation Needs A Vacation
For those readers who have galloped and gasped through the past week of Lisbon, Porto and Santiago de Compostela and wondered when we’d actually be “on vacation.” We are finally there ! In Cascais, a beach city recommended to us by friends.
On Monday, We left SDC and returned to Portugal after a weekend of gluttony….to begin another week of same. To break up the 5 hour drive to Nazare, we stopped in Porto again to Cafeina, a classy beach restaurant where we had a prix fixe menu and were the only slobs in the place.
Then we drove the rest of the way to Nazare, a funky little beach town that’s like Hermosa Beach 20 years ago. Gorgeous, long, sandy beach to walk, a funicular to ride to the hilltop for amazing views and then dinner at a hole in the wall where the owner let us pick our fish and then grilled it perfectly. We never tasted fish so fresh. It was a European sea bass served with, what else, salad and boiled potatoes. Not only that, but the owner served up some medical advice for the allergies that have been plaguing me.
I haven’t mentioned the allergies because I was holding back on the important fact that we had never been to Europe in the spring. Apparently, I am allergic to Europe in the spring! Sneezing and blowing jags dogged me night and day despite my bag of western remedies. I learned that the price of a pack of Kleenex varies from town to town from 25 cents to one 1 euro probably because I had single-handedly driven up the price. Our charming restauranteur, seeing my red nose and general misery, recommended Telfast. We picked it up at a pharmacy the next morning and I’ve been improving ever since.
Now back to our story. Tuesday morning, we left the quaint little fishing town of Nazare and stopped at Obidos to see their walled city (Skip it. If you’ve seen one walled tourist trap, you’ve seen them all.)
Then on to Sintra which everyone said is a don’t miss. Lord Byron declared: “This may be the most beautiful place in the world.” We agree. We only had time to see the fantastical gardens at Quinta da Regaleira but there are also castles, palaces and beautiful homes and gardens a In this remarkable little jewel of architecture, culture and respite.
Finally, exhausted, we limp into Cascais and discover we are in the La Jolla of Portugal. Chi chi stores and restaurants and beautiful beaches abound. And, our B and B. is right in the heart of things behind a gated garden but a century removed in style. Casa de Pergola is beautiful and filled with antiques and architectural details. And wifi and air conditioning!.
We have a simple dinner and are in bed before midnight. Our earliest night.
Wednesday, June 18
It’s now 4 pm, and I know you dying to hear about our ONE day of vacation. Here’s what we did:
- Breakfast at Casa de Pergola
- Take laundry to mall to be washed
- Rent bikes and bike the amazing coastal bike path for nearly two hours
- Eat charcoal grilled chicken for lunch (we are growing fins and scales from all the fish we’ve consumed)
- Take a walk in town and pick up our laundry so we can pack up tonight
- Made reservations for dinner
- Go back to our room to rest. This is a First!
- I blog, Andy crashes.
And that’s what we did on our lazy last day in Portugal.
Oh, sorry, I almost forgot to tell you about the laundered money. As we are wont to do, we collect uneaten and packaged food items at meals that can serve for quick provisions later in our travels. So, I took a packet of jam and put it in my little travel bag. Today, as I went to pay for something, I discovered the leaky packet which had sweetly spread to all of my currency and cards. So, back at the room, another chore awaited: money laundering!
Tomorrow is a travel day where we drop off the car, get on a plane and head to Amsterdam for the next adventure!
* More of the amazing park at Quinta da Regaliera: