A Bus Ride Reminiscent Of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride At Disneyland!
From Sintra we took a bus to a city called Cascais on the coast. We were told it is a very scenic route. It would have been a nice ride if the driver wasn’t driving like we were on Mr. Toads wild ride at Disneyland. He was going around the curves at such a pace we were sliding out of our seats. Jack was very nauseous. I usually never get travel sickness but was not doing too well by the end of the trip either.
This was the worst bus ride we have had on the entire trip. The driving was worse than what we experienced in Africa and Asia. A lot of the driving here is erratic. Vehicles come whipping through narrow little streets at race car speeds. When we slowed down in a small village the driver stopped along side a stone wall. From the yard side of the wall a dog stretched up to stick his head up over the top. The driver handed him a biscuit through the window. This obviously happens all the time and the dog knows the bus schedule by heart. This was the only amusing part of the trip.
The End Of The Earth
On the bus trip we passed by an area called Caba da Roca, it is the most western point of Europe. There was nothing to look at but ocean. At one point in history the people looking at this view assumed this was the end of the land and the rest of the world was just water. With an endless view of ocean and no proof that the rest of the world existed, it would be easy to understand why they thought like that.
In Cascias it was again a large difference in temperature from Sintra. We had only traveled about 1 1/2 hours, but it was back to being a warm 25.C. In the evening it was cooler, but still comfortable enough to walk with just a light jacket.
Cascais is an attractive seaside town. It was once just a tiny fishing village. Even though it has gained in popularity it still has a laid back atmoshphere. Fisherman still sell their daily fresh catch in the town square. The cobblestone streets give it a charming feel, yet it has some modern shopping and restaurants.
There is a paved walkway along the ocean that goes all the way from Cascais to the next town of Estoril. It’s about one to one and a half hours to walk the entire distance. Along the walkway are several cafes and different play areas to entertain the kids and of course the beautiful beach. Cascais is the playground for the rich people of Lisbon. There are many luxurious old mansions hanging off the cliffs overlooking the walkway.
We enjoyed walking around the old part of town and admiring the magnificent architecture of the old houses and their manicured gardens.
Will this continue when the next generations become older? This is a typical scene you will see in the town square in many parts of Portugal. Men come out chat and enjoy themselves in the afternoon sun.
Parque Marechal Carmona
We walked through a large public park called Parque Marechal Carmona. There are extensive gardens and a lake that you can have a peaceful stroll around. There is a mini zoo, which might explain why we saw a few loose peacocks and chickens running around the park. A beautiful yellow building that houses a museum.
Our Hotel, Residencial Solar D. Carlos
We stayed in a hotel called Residencial Solar D Carlos. It was a former royal residence. There was an old wooden staircase that took us up to our room. The breakfast was served in what would have been a grand dining room. It is quite impressive with intricately carved wood panels and restored murals. It is run by a very friendly family. The rooms are decorated in period furnishings. They are spacious and clean and come basic with everything we needed. In the back of the hotel is a quiet garden that is a nice place to sit and relax. The location is in an excellent spot right in the old part of town. It’s a few minutes to the beach and an easy walking distance to everything else Cascais has to offer.
Some Very Expensive Hair Cuts!!!
We decided to try our luck again on some haircuts while in Cascais. We spotted a salon that looked modern. My haircut was okay, Jack came out with the Portuguese Mohawk look that is so popular there. The hair on top of the head is left longer and swept up into a big fin on top. Some guys add to the look by also wearing their hair in a mullet style in the back. We asked what the price for the haircuts would be before agreeing to them. It was 25 euros for men and 35 euros for women. We have to add 50 percent to that to get Canadian dollars, but it sounded fair enough. I guess this was one of those live and learn situations. They neglected to tell us that this was literally just for the haircut. We were charged extra for the shampooing, another additional amount for the conditioner that went into my hair, then for the styling for both of us and for the gel they put in Jack’s hair. Totally ridiculous. The extra amount for the conditioner was over the top, I think it worked out to $5 Canadian. The whole bill ended up coming to 120 euros instead of the 60 euros we thought it was going to be! Convert that into Canadian dollars and we just paid $180 for two haircuts!!!
A Scenic Train Trip Back To Lisbon
We then took a train from Cascais back to Lisbon. It went all along the coast and was very scenic. At least this was a nice smooth ride where we could enjoy the scenery. From Lisbon we immediately took a train to Porto. We stayed overnight in the same hotel we had when we first arrived in Porto. It was hard to believe that was nearly 2 months ago. The lady who owns the hotel recognized us right away. She could not believe we had stayed in Portugal all that time. People must not expect tourists to spend so much time here. We got the same response from many locals when they asked how long we had been in the country.
Another One Cent Ryan Air Flight!
The next morning we headed to the airport for our 1 cent flight with Ryan air to Dublin, Ireland. Yes you read correctly, 1 cent. You still have to pay the tax. So in total it came to about 50 euros for the two of us, (about $75 Canadian)