Since my last post we have been exploring rural Castelo Branco district, visiting lots of little villages that are from a time gone by and a few more Praia Fluvial’s [river beaches]. The wee streets are cobbled and not used to a lot of traffic. The car that we have been ‘gifted‘ to drive is quite big, so it is ‘go slow’ when we are passing through. The front doors are literally on the street. Louise and Tim came for a visit, and we spent a couple of days in Lisbon.
I am going to give you a quick synopsis of the last week in photos ….
Colin at the ‘natural’ Foz Do Cobrao river beach … not our favourite.
We took some time to visit the textile museum in Retaxo. It is only small but it is really well done and the people we met there are so passionate about the restoration of the machines. They hope to be able to create their own fabrics and then share it with the design school and then sell some of the creations in a shop. It was only €1 pp – a bargain, and Colin was offered 0.50c entry for being a senior – he always politely declines and says he’s not that old! 😂
Louise and Tim visited us for a few days which was fabulous. The weather was okay for the first few days and a bit wet for the last two. Top picture is of us under the orange trees in Castelo Branco and the Bougainvillea in Idanha-a-Nova.
With Louise and Tim in tow, we visited the Bishop’s Palace Gardens [in Castelo Branco] which were absolutely beautiful. Constructed over several years [circa 1720] it has several ponds and a maze of clipped hedges that connect the different areas. The Steps of the Kings, the Apostles, statues of granite, wonderful flowers and staircases made this a lovely place to visit and a bargain at €2 pp. There were lots of lovely tiled wall pictures here.
Our home owners messaged to say they were coming home early, so we packed up and said goodbye to these three – Millie, Tom and Sam were pretty easy to look after but I really missed not ‘walking’ a dog. These guys just hang out at home. Actually Sam did a few runners, but fortunately he came back!!
We visited Monsanto again as we wanted to share it with Louise and Tim, and just because it is so wonderful. Fortunately we had a fabulous day so had extensive views from the top. The plan had been to have pizza at the wonderful cafe Colin and I had visited, but it was closed on Saturdays!! We needed beer to sustain us, so had to stop at this wee bar to quench our thirst. Colin ended up changing a tyre for some ‘tourists’ who ripped their tyre open and needed it changed super quick as they were in the middle of the road. He had quite a few people watch him do it … providing lunch time entertainment 😂
The next morning we drove from Monsanto to Torres Nova where we were to spend the night. The weather was against us and as we passed through many small villages there was nowhere to get lunch! Finally we made it to Torres Nova and spotted a pizza place …. but it was closing [@ 3pm, it was 2.45!]. They said they would do take out for us, so a couple of pizzas later we stood and had our ‘Sunday lunch’ on the street corner in between rain showers!
We checked into a lovely hotel which had a view of the castle and after a ‘nana nap’ we walked down to the river and through the rose gardens [which were past there best and nothing to write home about!]. We had a lovely meal in our hotel and retired for the evening. The next morning Lisbon was on the agenda and our wonderful friends were to return to the UK in the evening.
The weather still against us, and now the traffic in Lisbon, we found a carpark and then a lovely Italian place for our farewell lunch. Tim and Louise helped us find our accommodation and we said our goodbyes. It was such a special time to have them come and farewell us, as we take our homeward bound journey.
Our apartment was right in the centre of Lisbon. A great little apartment, albeit a little noisy! You would be put off by the entrance but actually the apartment was just fine for a couple of nights. Colin and I had been here [Lisbon] 32 years ago and it was great to see some of the things we had seen before, and see some new things.
I loved all the tiled buildings and hadn’t remembered them, nor the trams. We rode the trams and just loved being in amongst the madness of this busy city. The buildings are all interesting and fabulous, the waterfront is wonderful and it was easy to get around.
This funicular went up and down this steep street which had nearly every inch of it [including the trams] covered in graffiti. We actually walked down it and the caught the tram up. It is unbelievably slippery to walk on, and worse when it rained!
I just loved all the buildings – I forget what/who this one was about, but those balconies and all the carving were beautiful- the photo does them no justice!
Tram line 28 was the busiest but we lucked in and got on at the farthest end grabbing ourselves a seat and enjoying our ride.
Lisbon has all these wonderful alleyways to get lost in and explore. Some people brighten up their homes with lots of wonderful flowers, lots of homes have washing hanging from the lines and all the alleyways are cobbled.
June is the month for the celebration of the Salmon and there are lots of salmon being BBQ’d on the streets, streamers hung everywhere and a real festival feel. Colin and I of course don’t like them, so while we were happy to soak up the atmosphere…only Sagres [beer] tempted our palettes.
There is some incredible graffiti in Lisbon …. I have become a bit of a graffiti follower, but not so much the tagging.
So the Jeronimos Monastery was on our ‘things to do list’, along with Monument of the Discoveries. We had visited both these on our last trip and it was great to see them again. Both just incredible structures.
And so my last picture is of a graffiti message and it is so true … let’s look after this wonderful planet ‘A’ we call home … ❤️
So we are now in Berlin having commenced our homeward journey …
“Travel brings potential and love back into your life”