Wednesday, July 24: Today, I take the train from Lisbon to the charming town of Cascais (pronounced (kush-kaish), which sits on the Atlantic Ocean. This is my first time to see the Atlantic from the European side, and I’m tickled to find such a pleasant town from which to see it.
I have no plan here except to wander aimlessly and go wherever my heart leads me.
Cascais has about 35,000 residents and is one of the richest municipalities in Portugal, according to Wikipedia: Cascais. The former fishing village gained fame as a resort for Portugal’s royal family in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Nowadays, it is a popular vacation spot for both Portuguese and foreign tourists.
Cascais has thrived over the centuries from fishing, maritime commerce (it was a stop for ships sailing to Lisbon), and agriculture, producing wine, olive oil, cereals and fruits. Due to its location close to the Tagus estuary, it was also seen as a strategic post in the defense of Lisbon. Around 1488, King John II built a small fortress in the village, located by the sea. This medieval fortress was not enough to repel the invasion and in 1580, Spanish troops led by the Duque of Alba took the village during the conflict that led the Spanish and Portuguese crowns to unite.
In 1755, the great Lisbon earthquake destroyed a large portion of the village. Not much of Portugal was left unscathed by this earthquake.
I thoroughly enjoy wandering through this adorable town on my last day in Portugal.
I stroll through the town with its wavy cobbled streets and candy-colored buildings to the beach, where people are sunbathing and swimming.
I walk along the length of the citadel, and at its far end, I find the Marina de Cascais, with its sleek yachts and sailboats.
And of course, pretty Portuguese balconies adorn almost every building.
I stop at Bangkok Restaurante to eat a lunch of Pad Thai.
After stopping in to various little boutiques, I wander slowly back to the train station, where I head back to Lisbon for my last afternoon. I fly out tomorrow morning early.
Oh, how I wish I didn’t have to leave Portugal tomorrow. I’ve loved every minute of my travels. 🙂