When we made our last post on this blog Christmas was a few days away.
We celebrated Christmas Eve with friends from Riverside Church at their home followed by a Christmas Eve service at Riverside. It is great to meet new people and share experiences and also see what we have in common.
Christmas day was different from those we have had in England, the sun was shining and we walked along the beach and enjoyed coffee and cakes sitting outside by the beach. On the way back we chatted to our Belgium freinds from the boat Amadaus sitting by the beach. Cafes and restaurants were open and there was also public transport running.
We made a video call to our son and his family and opened our presents before preparing dinner. We are not a great fan of turkey and cooked a piece of beef. with roast potatoes. Christmas pudding something Christmas would be complete without. We had brought one back with us from the UK at the end of November. Not having a microwave meant that this had to be steamed, we placed our electric hob outside in the cockpit to avoid having clouds of steam all over the boat.
New years day we walked along the beach at Carcavalos, it was packed. Imagine what this must be like in the summer!
The New Year was celebrated by watching the fireworks with others from the marina.
The last few months have been spent carrying out maintenance on our boat as well as getting to know the Lisbon area. There are also always chores to do, shopping, cooking and cleaning. We will be moving on in April so need to finish the jobs and get sailing again to make sure everything is working properly before leaving Cascias
We have been out and spent time exploring the area around Cascias
We made a visit to Guincho Beach, I have read that the opening shots of the James Bonds film On Her Majesties Secret Service were filmed on location here. I could not get Judith to go into the sea and give me the opportunity to run in and rescue her like James Bond. ( see the Youtube clip https://youtu.be/pQ3RNveAyFA?t=213 )
We have enjoyed walking around Cascias, despite having been here for over three months there are still new things to see.
We also have made a number of trips including walking up to the impressive Statue of Christ looking over the city from the south side of the river. Built after the second world war to give thanks to God that Portugal remained neutral and was not dragged into the conflict.
Pastel De Nata seams to be served everywhere in Portugal however it is said to have started in Belem Lisbon, prepared by the Monks from Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. A cafe exits nearby claiming to make the original tarts, We joined the queue and tried them out, they were good.
We have seen many interesting things as we have walked around the photos below show just a few.
Portugal uses decorative tiles on both old and new buildings, the examples below range from images taken in the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos showing Biblical Stories to the White Rabit from Alice in Wonderland at the Metro Station.
Graffiti and other street art are everywhere, on old buildings, on sides of buildings, trains to name just a few. Hyundai were having an event to launch the i10 all-electric car, they arranged for one of the new cars to be painted by a graffiti artist.
We have had a few days where the Atlantic swell has built up and created dramatic waves along the coast and against the marina wall. We had two nights where things were a bit lively in the marina and we had disturbed nights and were out in the small hours checking lines.
All around the coast you see people fishing from the tops of cliffs. They sit really close to the edge and it looks really dangerous. This was confirmed on the 12th January when sadly two fishermen fell into the sea and died, another reminder that the sea needs to be respected. We saw the lifeboats going out and also the TV crews at the marina reporting on the incident.
Even a visit to Macdonalds can be interesting, this McDonals at Oeiras must be one of the more interesting buildings for an Mc Donald’s It also had great sea views.
You might think I have an obsession with the washing as I have posted a number of photos of laundrettes but I do like the way the Portuguese love to hang their laundry outside their apartments and utilise common land to dry clothes even in the city. Communal wash houses are also in use. We have seen washing hanging outside apartments at some considerable height. We can’t help but wonder how much washing is blown away with the wind.
We have had a visit from a friend and it was good to show her around. Unfortunately, the weather was not at its best. We went back to Cabo De Roca and as you can see in the pictures it was so foggy we could hardly see the lighthouse from the bus stop so all I could do was go into the Visitor centre and show her what it should loke like on a good day.
We travelled back to the UK on the 14th of February, our daughters baby was already 7 days late by this time. On the 20th February Lillian Eve finally put in an appearance.
We are not enjoying the cold weather in the UK and will be travelling back to Lisbon early March
Once back we will start preparing the boat for the summer and get ready to start sailing further south in April. Currently, we plan to sail to the Algarve and on to the south Spanish coast via Gibraltar.