Monday, February 17, 2014

A rainy trip to Cascais

Today I decided that, since museums were closed, it would be a good day to get out of Lisbon and visit the town of Cascais. Cascais is a small seaside town about 30 Km east of Lisbon. So I went Cascais to find water, and boy did I - It rained almost the whole time I was there.

  Cascais was one of the tour options on the GreyLine bus tour. So I took the morning bus (1000) from the bus station at Marquis de Pombal. Before leaving the city of Lisbon the bus took a little tour which went past to aqueduct that brings the drinking water into the city.

Lisbon Aqueduct

The Tagus River

It then followed the Tagus River and the coast through the towns of Carcavelos, Parede, and Estoril, to Cascais. I got off of the bus at Boca de Inferno (Mouth of Hell). The Boca de Inferno is a 65 foot tall hole in the stone at the water’s edge. When the waves are big, they come crashing through and spray up the sides of the crevice in the rocks. There are several food and low key souvenir stands nearby.

Boca de Inferno

The Boca de Inferno is about 0.5 miles from the center of town. It is worth walking to and/or from. It was a beautiful walk, even in the drizzle that was falling. The base rock is Limestone and so it fractures over time leaving and amazing landscape along the shore.

You will also see the use of decorative tiles through out the town, on the walls of museums, town hall and houses.

Museu Condes de Castro Guimaraes

Cascais town hall

As you come in to town you pass several museums and the beautiful Parque Marachel Carmona. Continue past the Marina, and the Citadel and you will get to the Praia de Ribiera (Ribiera Beach). This little gem is surrounded by the patterned sidewalk and also houses working fishing boats.

Ribiera Beach

Ribiera Beach

Boats at Ribiera

Wavy paving stones throughout the town

You then have 2 choices. You can continue along the water front for some amazing views or wonder up into the shopping and restaurant area of town. I had a wonderful shrimp with spaghetti is a creamy tomato sauce at a restaurant called Marisqueira Camões.

At that point in the day the skies opened and the rains came. So what is a traveler to do? Invest €5 in an umbrella and keep going. The streets are full of little shops and fun juxtapositions of old and new. Spend the afternoon wandering through the town.

If you want to get to Cascais from Lisbon without the tour bus there is a commuter train from the Cais do Sodre station for about €5 round trip. It takes about 30 min to get there.

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