The first few days
14.08.2014 - 19.08.2014 25 °C
Emirates flight was excellent. The crew were from many different countries, and the pilot was English. He put the Airbus down so gently there was hardly a bump! Food was good, too.
The Airbnb apartment in Cascais is great. Catarina, the owner, is lovely. She met me at the station, and had the apartment ready with essentials such as milk, coffee, fruit and bread.
My first supermarket shop was an eye-opener! Four bananas for 60 cents (Australian), and three yoghurts in reusable glass pots for $2.
On Friday I met Glaucia and Cezar from Brazil. We've been 'internet pen pals' for 14 years, but this was our first face-to-face meeting! They're really lovely - Glaucia laughing and bubbly, and Cezar very charming. We explored Cascais and Estoril together - walked too many kilometres! The Craft Fair in Estoril - the annual Feira do Artesanato - was in full swing, with some traditional Portuguese crafts, as well as modern ones.
Saturday I did a little more shopping, then some work. Yes, really! I read almost a whole Masters thesis.
Sunday I met my new friends in Lisbon. We queued for nearly two hours (in hot sun :-P) to get into the Torre de Belem. I'd never been inside in all the years I'd lived in Portugal, nor on subsequent visits. Apart from climbing the 120 steps to the top of the tower, there was nothing much to see. Save 6 euros and photograph it from the outside!
Monday was a full day in Sintra, which was great. We visited the Palacio da Pena, which is having a lot of work done to it - a good sign during this time of economic crisis. We spent a couple of hours at the nearby Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle). Everyone who's ever been there with me loves it - it's a beautiful spot. Since last year there's been a lot of work done, including a small visitor's centre and cafe; it's all been done really well, not intrusive at all.
Today it's down to work - a few hundred inscriptions to translate!