Friday, November 28, 2014

Trekcapri's 2014 Portugal Travel Adventures: Muito Obrigado Portugal!

Thank you so much Portugal for a fantastic time!  It's been wonderful visiting this amazing country. I had such an incredible time learning about its history, sampling their cuisine with an emphasis on their delicious desserts, meeting the locals.  

There are so many highlights which I'll try to summarize;

Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais and Cabo da Roca - I had read that you can do a day trip circuit to Sintra, Cabo da Roca and  Casais, so I purchased my combo round trip train ticket/bus pass and made the 1.40 hour train journey. I loved Sintra a lot because of it's beautiful surrounding and I enjoyed visiting the Pena Palace. The palace is painted in such bright happy colors. I loved it.  

There were other things I wanted to see but had to head to Cabo da Roca and Cascais.  Cabo da Roca is touted as the western most point in Western Europe so I wanted to stop there on the way to Cascais. It was a beautiful spot and I spent an hour there before catching the bus to Cascais.  To be honest, I was a little meh on Cascais.  

Day Trip to Fatima - This was one of the highlights of my trip and I had the most moving experience here.  To think that I almost didn't make this day trip because I felt I wasn't going to have enough time to do it.  This goes to show that sometimes you need to follow your instincts and your heart when making decisions on the fly when traveling.  Sometimes some of the things you didn't solidify in your plans can turn out to be the best experiences on your trip.

Day Trip to Evora - This was a lovely town which is only a  1.5 hour train ride from Lisbon and it has this Roman Temple in the historic center.  It had a nice town square where locals hung out at in the evening.  The cobble stoned streets within the town walls are lined with charming white buildings trimmed in gold (yellow).   I would recommend Evora as a nice day trip.

Day Trip to Obidos - Obidos is a very small village only a one hour bus ride away from Lisbon.  I had a very relaxing time here walking the Castle Walls (even if it was raining the whole time) and enjoying a new drink called Ginja which is a sweet Sherry liquor. You drink it in a little chocolate cup and then when you're done you can eat the chocolate cup. :) At the entrance to the town center is this beautiful tiles.

Day Trip to Porto - This is the second largest city in Portugal but it didn't feel like a big city. It was only when I took the City Hop On/Hop Off Bus did I see how really big this city is. It is a picturesque city because of the bridges and old port area near the Douro river which is where I stayed and colorful old buildings with laundry hanging out to dry.  It reminded me so much of Venice. 

I also went on a cool wine tasting tour at the Taylor Wine Cellars.  Can you guess which one I liked the best.  You can see the difference in the colors that they are two different types. My favorite is the one on the left, the 10 year Vintage wine which was a bit more fruitier.  I'm not a big wine drinker but this was so good. 

And then there was the food.  I already posted on those delicious Pasteis de Nata, but at the Landeau Chocolate Cafe located in the artistic LX Factory which Jonathan from the Slow Europe Travel Forum recommended I had the best chocolate cake ever. 

Since the City lies on a series of seven hills, it offers some stunning views at strategically viewing points called Miradouros.  I visited as many as I could.  

From St. George's Castle.

MIradouro da Senhora do Moniz.

Miradouro De Sao Pedro de Alcantra.

Miradouro Santa Luiza.

And although this isn't a Miradouro, this little side street in Barrio Alto offers a stunning view of St George Castle in the Alfama District.

I've written about my experience visiting the Coach museum but I also made time to visit the National Tile Museum which was wonderful. 

After spending 3 weeks here, I finally figured out the layout and how to catch the right tram going in the right direction. They aren't the smoothest ride ever but they are fun to ride in and watch go by. 

I love my neighborhood in the Chiado District but I also loved strolling through the old Alfama District where everything seem so old, authentic and  charming. 

In some places the streets are so narrow, you have to step to the side when the tram rolls by.

Up the street from my apartment there is great place where street musicians entertain patrons at the famous A Brasileira Cafe.

And then there are are the people and random little delights that I noticed each time I ventured out to explore.  As always I seem to find the most pleasure in the little details of these snapshots. 

At one of the Miradouros I saw this local gentleman greet this little kid he saw running around with his father.  It was so sweet.

Here in Porto a local woman watches out of her window after hanging her laundry.

At the popular cafe up the street from my apartment a little dog sits at the door waiting for her owner.

I saw several Camino de Santiago arrows during my trip.  The first two photos knew about and looked for it when I went to visit the Cathedral Se.  I even think I saw a pilgrim in there praying.  She had a big backpack with a pair of crocs hanging on the side.  It was very exciting!

These next two arrows I stumbled upon during my visit to Porto.  Here are a couple I found in Porto. 

I had a wonderful time here in Portugal and I would recommend visiting here for any traveler.  I am so thankful to Annie (Blog: Churches in Venice) & Girasoli (Blog: Shave Ice & Gelato) for your kind comments and for following my blog. I appreciate it so much.  

I want to say thank you to my family, friends, blogging and travel friends and co-workers for all of your support and for following my blog posts.

And the Dream lives on . . . .


  1. Wow Kathy, you took some awesome photos - really captured how special this trip was. That's so cool that you found some Camino signs. And I too am so glad you went to Fatima!

    I hope you have a quick recovery from jet lag and a relaxing return to the real world. Thanks so much for sharing this trip with us!

  2. Hi Annie, thanks so much for your comments and for liking my photos. Thank you for following my blog during my trip. It was a wonderful trip and I loved Portugal a lot. Fatima was a definite highlight of my trip and I'm really glad I decided to make the trip. I think I would've regretted it, if I hadn't.

    Jetlag recovery was pretty quick, but it took me a few days to get used to the time difference. Waking up at 1am and feeling sleepy around 2 during the day at work was a challenge, but I'm finally back on track. :) Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


    Just saw this on NPR - a new book about Prince (it sounds really good!).

    1. Hi Annie, wow that is a great article and the book sounds very interesting. I'll pass the link on to a work friend who is an even bigger fan of Prince than me. Prince is so guarded and private that it's always interesting to read anything that can show more about who he is. I hope the book comes out or is available on Kindle, although this maybe one book that would be better to purchase a hard copy of.

      Thanks so much for sharing the link Annie! Hope you have a great week.

  4. Hi Kathy --

    Looks and sounds like you've had a great time in Portugal!

    Is your aim to visit all the Mediterranean countries? :)

  5. Hi YTSL, lol, that sounds like a nice bucket list addition. Thanks so much for your comments. Portugal was amazing and I had a fun time . :)


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.