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Thursday, 12 September 2013

Day 4 & 5 Sesimbra and Cascais

Day 4 and we are off to a relatively early start (11am). Had a short fright when the Van wouldn't start, but a skillful hotel staff showed me how to wiggle the steering wheel to get the engine roaring. I am a bit disappointed that my family hasn't bought me a Chauffeur's hat yet.

Monica and the GPS were skillful at guiding me out of Evora and the drive to Sesimbra was non-eventful. But when we arrived at this seaside town the navigation broke down as the roads became increasingly narrower. We circled several times looking for the address of a specific restaurant Monica had found in the guidebooks. Once we felt we were close we chose to grab one of the few parking spots large enough for our Van. Then we went in search of "Tony's Place". The "kids" were less interested in finding Tony's and they wandered off toward the beach; but Monica was determined to find it. As she headed off into the distance I glanced up and saw a dilapidated sign - "Tony's Place" - hanging above a boarded up window. I called to Monica to return and pointed at the sign. She was suitably amused.

Luckily there were many choices for dining and we chose a restaurant that displayed its catch for all to see. We had pretty good seafood, nice wine and friendly service. Then a walk on the very crowded beach and a return to the Van.

Our next journey was about 50 minutes to Cascais, a pretty upscale fishing/tourist village. The GPS took us to the street of our hotel, but could not provide any guidance on the hotel's actual location. By chance I spotted the Pousada Cascais sign just as we passed it. A short turn around a round about and we headed in through a round narrow archway.

This Pousada is very modern inside, but outside it has preserved the look of an old citadel. There is no parking on site and no valet service. So after the attentive staff unloaded our Van we had to drive up the street to park in a public lot.

Our rooms are modern and very comfortable. The public areas face the ocean and the pool is warm and fun. The restaurant hasn't figured out cocktails yet, but had good wine and reasonable food.

Tonight we all went our separate ways for dinner, but Monica and I ran into Sarah and Josh along the sea. Monica and I found a small restaurant with modern Portuguese food (Paradigma) and the bartender made a great "Old Fashioned" with Blanton's bourbon. I was happy. Our table was on a 2-person balcony and we had a view of the sea and the light show. As we neared the end of our dinner (Monica had grilled sea bream and I had pasta - she always makes better choices) we spotted David and Anuzya walking down the street, heading to the restaurant we had reserved for tomorrow night! We chatted and arranged for them to take over our perch, in what was now a completely booked restaurant. All were happy.

The day and night were complete.

Day 5 - We all did our own adventures. Sarah and Josh toured the town and found a beach. The water was cold but they braved the temperatures for a swim. David and Anuzya woke up late and then toured various art galleries. Joe and Monica toured the large park and gardens and then walked along the ocean, explored the town and then rested before seeing some galleries. The Paula Rego gallery was Monica's favourite.

In the late afternoon the whole family gathered poolside and then went off for dinner. Unfortunately the Baia do Peixe was a disaster. The service was absolutely non-existant, the food showed no evidence of anyone's interest. Several items ordered did not appear and trying to get a second bottle of wine was a challenge. Thankfully we could retreat for dessert and after dinner refreshments back at the Paradigma where we were treated warmly.

Tomorrow - Sintra!

1 comment:

  1. Monica and Joe -- I think your trip put them over the top with quadrupling their profits!!!