Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day on the Coast

Last week, one of the men that works at our club (he also has sons who play for the club) asked us if we wanted to take a little day trip to Cascais (one of the beach cities near Lisbon). We said yes, but we didn't really discuss many details. He told us that he would pick us up from Alges after our morning practice. I thought that we were just going to go to Cascais and have a lazy afternoon on the beach (and that would have been just fine). It turned out that he had much more planned - and his plans were great! We drove all along the coast, and it was beautiful and relaxing. Parts of the road are very similar to the Pacific Coast Highway so Jen and I sort of felt like we were in California :-)

We first stopped in Cascais, got some ice cream, and walked around for a little bit. Then, we continued driving to a place called Boca do Inferno (translated it means Hell's Mouth). Alfredo told us that this particular place on the coast often gets very severe storms (big waves and strong winds). The rocky cliffs have some caves underneath them, and when the waves get into the caves, a hissing sound comes out from the rocks. Anyways, we stayed there for a while, and then we got back in the car and continued our trip.

Our next stop was a place called Cabo da Roca (Cape of the Rock). We learned that it is the westernmost point of continental Europe. It was beautiful, quiet, and peaceful. I would have been content to just sit there for hours looking at the ocean. We really enjoyed it.

After spending some time there, it was off to our next stop: Azenhas do Mar. This place is very popular in the summer. There is a big pool that is filled up with salt water from the ocean. The day that we were there, the waves were quite strong and were frequently crashing into the pool - you probably wouldn't have wanted to be in the pool on that day :-) Apparently the waves aren't as strong during the summer :-)

Our final stop of our daytrip was Sintra. It is a beautiful city about 20 minutes from where we live. One of our teammates lives there, and people kept telling us that we had to go visit Sintra. It is a very charming little town that feels far removed from a big city (in reality, it's not really that far from Lisbon). We parked the car and walked around for a bit. We went to a pastry shop and had hot chocolate and queijadas. Then, we walked over to the palace for a couple of minutes. We didn't have a whole lot of time because we had to get back for our evening practice. I know there is a lot that we didn't get to see this time, but I'm sure we will go back.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. We got to see parts of Portugal that we had not seen yet - it's a beautiful country! I think the fact that we didn't know what the plan was made it even better. Thank you for an amazing day, Alfredo!!! :-)

Beginning of our beautiful day on the coast

Boca Do Inferno (Hell's Mouth)

Jen and Alfredo

Cabo da Roca (Cape of the Rock): This is the westernmost part of mainland Portugal and of continental Europe.

Azenhas do Mar


We went to this little bakery and got hot chocolate and queijadas (a popular pastry in Sintra)

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