Sun 19 Sep 2010 14:24
We spent two nights in Figueira da Foz then carried on to Nazare.  As usual wind and tide on the nose but this time accompanied by a big Atlantic swell and rain!!  We were very pleased to get into Nazare.  However the marina was full so we were put alongside the wall of the fish dock.  There is nearly 4 metre rise and fall of tide and on the other side of the wall was a naval ship with loud generators going all the time.  A very unsettled night!   The next day the English Harbourmaster Captain Mike found a space for us in the marina.  It was Ali's "big" birthday and we all walked into town to a particularly good fish restaurant.  Luckily for Andrew they also did a good steak!  We caught the funicular to the other part of the town which had stunning views. 
Then it was on to Oeiras in company with Green Flash and Caitlin of Argyle, an 81 mile trip.  The marina is in a small town on the outskirts of Lisbon and from here we can see the bridge and the Christ Statue.  Apparently the statue faces the one in Rio.  The marina staff are very helpful and offer to give us lifts to the supermarket or station.  This morning we took advantage of a lift to the station and went into Lisbon.  We had a walk up and down a couple of the 7 hills and then caught the number 28 tram which goes down some extremely narrow streets. Our trip on the famous number 28 tram was memorable for the wrong reason! There were two pickpockets on the tram, they jostled everyone as it was really crowded and we were standing.  One of them touched Andrew's bottom feeling for a wallet and the other one had a coat over his hand looking for money (it was far to hot to need a coat).  Another passenger hit the would be thief's hand and they scarpered off the tram empty handed.  It got very hot so we went back to Oerias and had a swim in the sea and sat on the beach for a while.  Lovely.  We will stay here a while as one of the advantages of the ARC is that you got discount at some marinas.  When we asked here the girl in the office said yes you get half percent off.  We were puzzled then she said, no I mean you get 50% off, half price.  That made all the difference - from being the second most expensive stop to being much more affordable!
View from the top at Nazare
A production line of model boats
Lisbon tram
The royal barge at Belem
Us at Castle of St Jorge
Pena National Palace
Celia in the tower!
The Moorish Castle
part of the procession in Sintra
We have had a lovely week looking round the area.  We went to Belem to look at the Maritime Museum and the tower of Belem.  We went into Lisbon again and walked up to see the cathedral which was a similar age and design to Christchurch Priory.  Then we walked round the narrow streets to the Castle of St Jorge.  The views were really lovely over the city.
Again we walked down and through the main shopping area at  Rua Augusta.   
Yesterday we went to have a look at Cascais and the marina.  Bumped into Dave and Sharon on Symphony (another Moody 54) and had a pleasant chat and coffee with them.  Then we caught a bus to the old town of Sintra to look at the Palacio da Pena which looks like a fairy tale castle on the top of a rock.  The bus took over an hour going via Cabo Roca and was a bit of a magical mystery tour.  The town was heaving as it turned out it was a festival day for their saint.  There was a procession through the town and everyone was on horseback in different costumes. 
Will head south again this week, weather permitting.