Lisbon to Cascais
After 2 days in Lisbon, we packed up our belongings and caught a train to Cascais, an idyllic seaside town, just under 17 miles along the Lisbon coast.
Do you remember that old slogan: “Let the train take the strain”? Well there’s definitely something to be said for rolling along a railway track, gazing out of the window the entire time, with not a care in the world! No fiddling about with maps, or having to figure out how to drive on the wrong side of the road. No stressful arguments with your spouse about navigation. No sense of concern about how much a taxi fare might end up costing. So relaxing!
Travelling by train is also a really good way to get snapshots of your surroundings. Passing through pretty places, such as Estoril, only further convinced me that there is so much more of Portugal that I want to see.
Once in Cascais, we flagged down a taxi and made our way to our hotel. The Villa Gale was good, but nothing to write home about – it was a bit dark and dated in places, and huge crowds of people made breakfast times feel like a military operation! But it was clean and comfortable, and very conveniently located – and Emily enjoyed the swimming pool and the small children’s playground.
Cascais started out as a typical Portugese fishing town, and apparently became the preferred summer retreat of the Portugese Nobility. But over the years, it has grown into a wonderful fusion of 19th Century architecture, mingled with artisan shops, all kinds of eateries and an attractive marina. There are beaches, museums and parks, so you can take your pick as to how you’re going to spend your day.
We strolled downtown just as evening was descending…
Celebrated Nathan’s birthday with an unforgettable meal at O Pescador, an award winning seafood restaurant, tucked down an unobtrusive little side-street,
Mooched around the boutique style shops,
Took a ride on a carousel,
And bumped into a big, grizzly bear!
Everywhere you looked there were smart hotels with floodlit terraces, and plenty of those typical Portuguese streets adorned with swirling mosaic. Palm trees lined the central thouroughfare, reminiscent of the French Riviera. It really was a very pretty place.
Walking back to the hotel, we kept looking over our shoulders to catch one more glimpse of the town – so beautiful with its lights mirrored in the stillness of the ocean.
And stopped by the bridge, to take in the sight of this picturesque stately home.
Wonderful memories are made of such moments.