So, we left Ericeira around mid morning and headed south towards our next accommodation in Cascais with a simple plan of stopping off midway and visiting the Palace of Sintra.
It didn’t quite work out as we had planned. Sintra turns out that this is the most visited tourist site in all of Portugal.
For the most visited tourist site in all of Portugal t isn’t very well signposted and we found ourselves in a massive queue of traffic all as equally confused as we were. Eventually making it to the Palace there were no available car park spaces and the queue to enter looked a mile long. We abandoned our plans and moved right along on.
This was a shame for Mike and Margaret but we had been before in 2017 so weren’t that disappointed.
We had arranged to arrive at the apartment in Cascais at five o’clock so we had to change that for three o’clock but we still had about three hours to wait so we drove first to nearby Estoril on what is known as the Portuguese Riviera.
It is home to fifth largest casino in Europe and the place had a completely different identity to our two previous stops on Obidos and Ericeira. The casino means wealth and Estoril is one of the most expensive places to live in Portugal with a seafront full of swanky hotels and a string of up market bars and restaurants.
I think I am right in saying that features in the title of a song by Fleetwood Mac – “Nights in Estoril”.
Not really my sort of place I have to say, rather similar to Vilamoura in the Algarve and I didn’t like it there a great either but we were only there for a couple of hours so it didn’t really matter a great deal. I prefer fishing harbours to modern marinas, cathedrals and castles to casinos, sun-blistered doors and washing lines to modern street scene, cobbled streets to marbled boulevards.
We used the time at our disposal to walk the length of the seafront almost to the marina at Cascais and then turned around and walked all the way back again.
Our accommodation in Cascais was most unusual. Not a holiday home as I was expecting but a private residence which resembled a shrine with an odd collection of Chinese artefacts which I imagine were quite expensive because they were all under lock and key. I wasn’t so keen on the decoration so we stayed mostly in the kitchen during the stay.
Very soon after arrival I was beginning to think that maybe I had chosen badly to visit Cascais. Not really a problem I concluded after only a short while because we planned next day to take the train to Lisbon.
Late afternoon and leaving the odd apartment we walked to the seafront taking several wrong turns on the way and then as the time approached seven o’clock we found a restaurant with prices that matched our budget and sat down for evening meal.
Leaving the restaurant our problems urgently began. We weren’t sure where we were or how to get back to the apartment, it was beginning to turn dark and no one had been paying attention. Mike and Margaret had no internet service on their phones, Kim’s battery was blinking warning red for low battery and I had left mine behind and I couldn’t remember the accommodation address which was sitting securely locked away in my e-mail account on my phone on the kitchen table. Bugger.
I often leave my phone behind because, to be honest I find them to be very anti-social.
Without any mapping information to assist us we had to rely on guesswork and Kim’s limited navigational skills. Eventually after forty-five minutes or so we came across a supermarket which we recalled was close to the apartment and after stopping off to purchase wine were glad to grope our way back to our temporary home.
The following day we explored Cascais in daylight but I had already decided that I didn’t like it a great deal, too South of France, too Costa del Sol and I was looking forward to moving on to Lisbon,
I didn’t even get any good door pictures. Except this one…