Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Portugal Day 8: Carvoeiro Farewell: Wine Adventure and Exploring Coastal Charms

On our final day in Carvoeiro, Alison and Michael kicked off the morning with an early walk. They followed a picturesque walking path and boardwalk along the ocean, where opportunities to explore caves and rock formations beckoned, and they couldn't resist.

Upon their return, they met Linda for breakfast at the hotel. Having explored much of Carvoeiro in the preceding days, we decided to switch things up. We opted for an Uber ride to a local winery, Quinta Dos Valles, for a wine tasting experience. However, it became evident rather quickly that these wines didn't quite match our palates, and our leisurely vineyard visit turned into a prompt pivot.

Our new destination was the coastal fishing town of Ferragudo, just a short Uber ride away. The town charmed us as we roamed its streets, delving into local shops. Our exploration led us to a delightful outdoor patio where we settled in for lunch.

Linda ordered a burger, while Michael and Alison decided to savor local fish. Alison received a plate of gargantuan sardines and required a brief tutorial from the waiter on how to enjoy them. Michael opted for a local white fish. Both dishes were good but called for some extensive deboning.

Post-lunch, we made our way back to the hotel, where our arranged car awaited to transport us to the airport. It marked the end of our memorable stay in Carvoeiro, as we bid farewell to Portugal on our way back to London. 

Portugal Day 7: Carvoeiro Serenity: A Day of Scenic Delights and Coastal Adventures

The following day began with a leisurely morning in Carvoeiro. Linda embraced the luxury of extra sleep, savoring a late breakfast at our hotel while overlooking the mesmerizing ocean and rock formations. Her day then led her into Carvoeiro for more shopping.

Meanwhile, Michael and Alison opted for an early breakfast before parting ways for a bit. Alison secured a prime poolside spot, where she indulged in some quality reading time, while Michael embarked on a coastal hike, taking in the stunning scenery.

We all reconvened at the hotel later on and ventured into town together for lunch and more shopping. While Linda continued her shopping excursion, Michael and Alison stopped by a local beachside café for a relaxing break. After Linda rejoined us, Alison headed back to the hotel while Michael and Linda enjoyed a pizza lunch and then returned to the hotel for some well-deserved relaxation before our evening boating adventure.

After a short rest, we returned to the beach, ready for our boat tour of the coastal caves and rock formations, including the renowned Benagil Cave. The beauty of the natural formations left us in awe.

Following the boat tour, we returned to the hotel, ascending to the rooftop bar to savor the mesmerizing sunset views. Our day didn't end there; we strolled to a local wine bar, indulging in tapas and Portuguese wine.

With full stomachs, we concluded our day, returning to our hotel for a restful night's sleep.

Portugal Day 6: Charming Carvoeiro: Coastal Delights and Culinary Discoveries

Our morning began with another trip to the Timeout Market, where we stocked up on provisions for our upcoming 3-hour bus journey to Carvoeiro, a charming beach town in the south of Portugal.

From there, we took an Uber to the bus station, and soon we were aboard the bus. The hours passed surprisingly swiftly. Before we knew it, Carvoeiro greeted us with its coastal charm. Another short Uber ride transported us from the bus station to our hotel, the Tivoli, easily the fanciest hotel I’ve stayed in. From our hotel, we marveled at the breathtaking view of the ocean and the distinctive rock formations along the Portuguese coastline.

Once settled, we embarked on a 15-minute walk to the town of Carvoeiro itself, exploring the town and its treasures. Linda, with her keen eye, acquired several more keepsakes to take back to New Mexico (yet another purse may have been purchased).

Later, we headed to dinner, which was another adventure involving yet more steps and steep inclines, but we persevered, reaching our destination - The Square by Raquel Marques. Here, we enjoyed a delightful 5-course meal, a culinary experience that had more hits than misses.

To conclude the evening, we summoned an Uber for a return to our hotel. It was a successful introduction to the charms of Carvoeiro, setting the stage for more seaside exploration in the days to come

Portugal Day 5: Sintra's Splendor: Pena Palace and Lisbon's Lively Night Skyline

We began our day with another early start, catching the morning train bound for Sintra to outsmart the tourist crowds. Our agenda was clear: explore the renowned Pena Palace, savor a city lunch, and return to Lisbon.

The train journey breezed by, and upon arrival, we swiftly hailed an Uber to transport us to the Pena Palace. We arrived just as the palace gates opened, but the ascent to the palace was steep. Opting for convenience, we hopped on the tram. Despite being the last to board, Linda enjoyed the front seat next to the driver.

Surprisingly chilly at the palace, Michael dashed to the gift shop, securing a sweater for Linda. With warmth regained, we embarked on our palace tour, navigating corridors and stairwells to marvel at the meticulously preserved castle.

After our palace adventure, we caught an uber back to the town of Sintra. Once there, we discovered a charming patio restaurant, Café Paris,for a light lunch. Afterwards, we strolled along a sculpture-lined walking path to the train station, where we reboarded the train bound for Lisbon.

Back in Lisbon, we decided to walk from the train station to our apartment, taking in local sights along the way, including the famed Santa Justa Lift (it gave off serious Eiffel Tower vibes).

We regrouped at the apartment before ascending to a rooftop bar atop our apartment building for a pre-dinner drink with a view. Later, we headed to ZeroZero pizzeria for dinner, indulging in two pizzas, a prosciutto appetizer, prosecco, and wine. It was a delightful dinner full of great food and lots of laughter.

We strolled home down beautiful street light lit streets and enjoyed a bit of ginja from the Time Out Market.

Post-walk, Michael and Linda made a final stop at the rooftop bar, capturing the city's nighttime skyline. It was a fitting end to our last night in Lisbon.