Day 13 Thursday To Lisbon
We got up before 7 to have pastries for breakfast and then back to our car at San Bernardo park with all our luggage and extra purchases and left over bread, condiments in tow. We had a very quick trip from town before the morning peak hour and were at the Portuguese border in a little over an hour being very surprised at the grandeur of the water crossing and the Guadiana bridge at the Spain Portugal border.
We then drove to a small seaside village to catch a glimpse of the Atlantic and took a few snaps. We then headed to our target destination in the Algarve, the town of Faro only to realise the township itself is not right on the water so we abandoned another drive in a town centre in lieu of a nearby beach something at Praia de Faro about 10 km away over a single lane bridge and we found paradise. This is a very quiet small community reminiscent of some northern New South Wales towns right 9n the water.
There was a stunning blue sky and lovely sandy beach with children swimming mid winter.
The air too was a mild 15deg according to our car.
We then drove straight to Lisbon, arriving just after 2 pm local time.
Some souvenir shopping and photos of the supreme court building and various statues.
We had an interesting view of a local church from our room.
Dinner raw steak and ‘crisps’ when I asked for medium well meat and guessed incorrectly that potato chips might be french fry style. I should have learned from a previous visit to Europe where even ‘well done’ can mean bleeding meat.
Day 14 Friday
This morning decided to find an English style breakfast and only 2 minutes walk from our room we found Brunch which rates highly.
Changed my mind from bacon and eggs when I saw pancakes on the menu but was crestfallen when pre made commercial pancakes were served up. This was yet another culinary disappointment on our holiday.
After brekkie we set off on the days’s adventure and walked along the waterfront towards the left ?? Which way..
First major site we visited was an impressive Church of Santa Engracia.
We then visited San Jorge fort/ castle which included iron age ruins from the third century BC.
After visiting here we went our room to have a snack and snooze before heading out for the afternoon session…
It was darkening quickly around 5 pm when we set off along the waterfront in the direction of the ferry terminals.
We found a market food place which featured many separate options including desserts and drinks. We opted for a pizza which was fantastic, and fir dessert some local tarts and an American style donut.
Planning to head back there the next night.
Day 15 Saturday Lisbon
Today we woke to an email confirmation from Qantas that our return flight from Madrid would require a two day stop over in Dubai. We had been advised of this before travelling but when we were boarding in Brisbane and Dubai for our flights to Casablanca, the Emirates staff advised that our original return flights were still in the system. Anyway now we had to find somewhere to stay in Dubai so this is a job before we depart Spain.
The main accommodation decision for today was where we would stay to break the trip between Lisbon and Madrid. We settled on Merida in Spain after noticing images of Roman ruins on the search page and they appeared to be much more in tact than those at Italica in Seville.
Today our plan was to visit the Christo Rei statue at Almada on the south bank of the river. This gave us an opportunity to catch the ferry over from the Cais Do Sodre River Terminal. This is a very quick trip and from the landing point at Almeda only a hundred metres to the bus stops where we then queued for the 3001 bus.
These buses come once an hour and we still had 20 minutes to wait at half past the hour, and it was starting to rain when we were accepted the first ever tuk tuk ride for 10 Euro. It was a wild and noisy ride which got us up the hill quicker than the bus would have. He informed us that the return bus was of course hourly and would leave at 5 to the hour so this gave us a goal of just under half an hour to see this place. Of course there is an entry fee. The poor weather meant there were not many people so not much waiting for elevator and a quick walk up the 70 odd steps to the viewing platform at the base of the statue.
The view across to Lisbon is impressive, even on a grey day and after the selfie we went down to the souvenir shop, collected our fridge magnet and were out of the lift with just over five minutes to make our way to the stop where our bus was waiting. After a much more leisurely downhill journey in the bus we were dropped at the river terminal and caught the next ferry back to Cachilas terminal.
We then had lunch at the same place as the previous evening , enjoying a sensational American style cheese burger and real fries.
We also finally had our first coffee made by someone who knew what they were doing for the trip.