Lisbon-Lagos 17th -29th Sept
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To: Diary Moondance
Sent: Sunday, October 08, 2006 9:53 PM
Subject: Lisbon-Lagos 17th -29th Sept
A motor sail down to Lisbon, by which we mean ‘Cascais’, exclusive (well once) seaside resort of wealthy Lisbonites, and now favourite hangout of cruising yachties. Super marina with great facilities, and (almost) the kind of welcome that you used to see on American Express ads. Huge choice of restaurants and a cunning absence of bread and grocery stores.
train ride takes us into any of the main
Its very difficult doing the tourist / cultural visit, as even in our small party of three our interests and attention spans vary so much….....galleries, gift-shops, museums, monuments, Macdonalds; how to prioritise, and have a happy day? Maddie likes and is very focussed at museums, I like (museums and galleries and) observing ordinary everyday life, but move far too slow, and tend to wander. Sally likes all the above, but also feels the responsibilities of an approaching Christmas………and doesn’t like people who move too slowly, or worse still, wander. We therefore set modest and achievable goals on our cultural tours.
I like the
maritime, and New World discovery monuments and references. Although obviously
not alone in discovering the new world, and the great European maritime trade
Fantastic Bullring, which is rather surprisingly based upon an ‘Eastern’ theme with earthy-pink walls and blue/grey domes (I can’t remember the exact details of its influences and inspirations, but worth finding out; probably Moorish).
We enjoy a
super lunch in a café/restaurant which is clearly patronised by
At last I find a genuine Portuguese bean ‘stew’! Though superficially
experienced, we liked
days go by as we remain sheltered from big swells rolling in from Hurricane
Gordon (now over
Visit Sintra; one of those places that I cannot believe I have never heard of; it is so unusual and engaging. In particular we explore the grounds of the Quinta da Regaleira
the Palacio da Pena (the
The former is enchanting; an _expression_ of one mans “fantastic” imagination and sense of fun. Full, as the guidebook says, of “esoteric” delights ! Lots of caverns, grottos and waterfalls, one
cavern emerging at the base of a deep “well” (The Initiation Well) which is an extraordinary spiral staircase with carved balustrade, rising several flights to a ground level above. At the top are cave–like entrances with pivoted stone doors. We have fun manipulating a wheel-chaired visitor through the revolving stone door to appreciate the internal view down the interior of the well; wondering all the time how we are going to explain when we cannot reverse the process! Fortunately…..
to rounding Cape St Vincent and a significant turn east, away from the
we have a 12 hour passage to get around the
enough time to reach
the best sail of the whole trip. Calm seas, 15-20 knots wind on a close/ broad
reach. A French Ovni (aluminium hull, swing keel like us) took up the challenge
and for an hour or so we neck-and-necked it. Moondance then opened the
turbo-charger (tightened the trim and unfurled the staysail!) to accelerate into
the distance. What fun; ok, a straight line sail between two boats of different
specs is not exactly a race, but we can write our own script. As we approached
the (potentially very gusty) point, and a tight turn into
Polite nods were exchanged at the check-in desk, but we knew……..
strange feeling arriving at
The beach here was fantastic;soft, clean sand for as far as we can see and the kids enjoyed the space and sea.
after a couple of days recharging the batteries we felt the need to move on.
Kephri and Kalessin both arrived in