15.06.2018 - 17.06.2018 28 °C
We decided not to go with the rest of the tour to Cabo Sao Vincente as we have been there twice already. Instead, we slept in a bit and had a bit of a late breakfast. We then walked over to the beach. The Praia da Rocha is a huge beach. Must be about 3 km long. Gorgeous, soft sand. Shallow water. Very cold still so far this year as their weather has been unusually cool. We rented a beach umbrella with comfy cushioned chairs, and wifi, if you can believe it! We spent about 6 hours at the beach, both in and out of the sun. Around 4:30 we decided to head back to our room for a shower and a break from the heat. After getting cleaned up, we returned to the restaurant where we had eaten the previous evening. We had asked the owner if they could get percebes, which are barnacles in Portugal. When we arrived, he informed us that he was able to get some. We told him to bring them out. They are really good if you like seafood. A bit awkward and messy to get into, but so are things like crab and prawns. We then had sea bream as our main course. Excellent meal. It had gotten a bit chilly while we were in the restaurant, so we made our way straight back to our room.
Last day of bus trip. Up very early for our return to Lisbon. We boarded the bus and were on our way from the Algarve to Lisbon. Just outside of Lisbon we stopped at a tile factory. Hand painted tiles are a thing in Portugal and are very beautiful. We saw how the tile was made, fired and painted. Very talented people. We got to our hotel shortly after 1:00 and had the afternoon to ourselves. We decided to visit the Gulbenkian Museum. We hadn’t been doing much walking, so decided that this would be a good time to start. It was a couple of miles to the museum, but we passed through parks and enjoyed the walk. Calouste Gulbenkian was an Armenian who made a crap ton of money in the oil industry. He used a fair chunk of that money to collect all sorts of stuff, from Egyptian artifacts to Ming vases to Persian tapestries and everything in between. He moved to Lisbon and fell in love with the city. When he died he left his collection to the city along with a bunch of money. The city built the museum around the collection. The museum is in a large tree filled park, and since we had walked, we didn’t really know where to go. We went into a building that had ‘museum ‘ and a bunch of other Portuguese words written on it and bought our tickets. We ended up being in the modern art part of the place. Didn’t take me long to decide that that wasn’t the place for me. We got directions to the main part of the museum and set out through the jungle like park to get there. Much happier with this part. The collection is stunning. Rodin sculptures beside Monet paintings. A room dedicated to Egyptian artifacts. Tapestries from Persia. Hand illustrated bibles. Paintings by Dutch masters. Ancient coins, furniture. You name it, he collected it. Excellent use of our time. After a few hours, we walked back to our hotel to get ready for dinner. It was our last bus tour activity. We had a nice dinner and said our goodbyes. Overall, the bus tour was ok. Nice to let someone else do the planning and driving. Hotels were really nice as well. The downside is being around a group of people for 10 days. There is a possibility that I’m not much of a people person. After dinner we went for a walk down to a square near the hotel where ther were lots of people out and about. We bought a couple of glasses of sangria from a vendor and strolled our way back to the hotel.
We slept a bit late our last day in Lisbon. After breakfast we finished packing and caught the aerobus to the airport where we were shuttled to our car rental location. We got the car and drove for about an hour and a half to our rental apartment in Sao Martinho do Porto. We got checked in and went and bought some groceries. No restaurant tonight!. We then decided to go explore the downtown and beach area. The beach is huge, sandy and well sheltered. Have to check it out tomorrow. We returned to the apartment and sat on the balcony. The apartment has 2 huge balconies. One to catch the morning sun and the other to catch the afternoon sun. After a bit Arlene made us supper and then we sat back and enjoyed a glass of port.