We arrived in Portugal and settled into the little villa that we’ll call home for the next few days. We’re staying in Cascais, a beautiful Portuguese fishing town situated on the western edge of the Lisbon coastline… but we’re only a 30 minute train ride from the capital.
Yesterday we went exploring. We drove into Lisbon and then across the 25 de Abril suspension bridge to the left bank of the Tagus river. We then we followed the coastline down to Sesimbra. We stopped at one of the many beautiful beaches for a cold drink before heading off to Cabo Espichel. This is an isolated spot with stunning views of the Santuario de Nossa Senhora and the small the Chapel of Ermida da Memória. The exterior of the church is unique with two long rows of rooms, constructed for pilgrims who traveled to the Cabo. The small Chapel of Ermida da Memória was an important pilgrimage destination. The chapel was constructed on the site of an apparition of the Virgin Mary that was seen by local fishermen in the 14th century.
The hostel and buildings are bricked up and deserted… which is a shame as this pilgrim would have quite liked a night or two here!
We moved on to Sesimbra and walked along its glorious white sandy beach before stopping for another cold drink. There were folks sunbathing in bikinis and a few hardy folks swimming… but it was 22c which did feel extremely decedent for February! We followed the coastline along to the port of Setubal before heading home. What a glorious day.
Today we decided to take the train into Lisbon. We were here last year but we’ve fallen in love with this wonderful city and I envisage plenty more trips in the future… but today I had one specific trip in mind.
Next spring I am planning to walk the Camino Portuguese and today we went in search of Lisbon Cathedral… I wanted to buy my credential for that trip and I’ve read that they can be purchased there. The chap at the desk thought we were pilgrims walking now and so he asked for our passports and completed the credential and stamped and dated them for us… and then wished us a Bom Caminho. Leaving the cathedral I spotted a yellow arrow. Oh I wish we were walking again now… a girl can dream can’t she?
I tucked the passports safely into my bag and we went off to explore some more. We wandered around the Castelo de São Jorge where I amazed myself by walking around the castle walls without fear or panic. I felt a little anxious but I tried hard to stay calm and it worked… even Gerry was impressed! The views from the top are wonderful… a sea of roof tops.
We ended the day with a coffee and some roasted chestnuts, sitting beside the edge of the river, in the late afternoon sunshine, listening to the buskers on the waterfront… and I remembered why I absolutely love this city…. and I remembered that we’ve been here two days and we’ve still not had a Pastel de Nata.
We’re going to a coastal walk tomorrow… I might take a few more photos!