Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Faro

After a relaxing day at home on Saturday we felt a little more adventurous on Sunday. We decided to head in and check out Faro, the closest “big” city to us. We had a bit of a slow start – there was some confusion on whether we should eat and where to get coffee and ice cream. We figured it out, the kids found a park and we started wandering the very quiet and quaint streets.

Faro was lovely! I love the twisty streets and old buildings around every corner. We found a fountain outside an old church that the kids were happy to splash in. We wandered alongside the original city walls and finally found a nice spot for a late lunch.

Our new home

Since we were going to be spending a couple of weeks on the coast we decided to make sure we had a place that we could just relax in. We managed to find a pretty spectacular place to fit us all. Saturday we were all feeling a little lazy and decided to just hang around and enjoy our new home.

The kids spent some time in the pool and playing with Baby Evelyn. We had a nice fire and cooked some meat on the outdoor bbq. The adults relaxed in the sun with some snacks and a few drinks. A pretty perfect vacation day.

Albufeira

The closest town to where we are staying is Albufeira. It’s a coastal town that is known for its strip of bars catering to British hen parties. Not really our scene but they have an old part to the town that was fun to wander around. Plus they have a beach, which we all know is my thing. This one even comes with an escalator at one end and an elevator at the other.

We wandered through the cobble stone streets, had lunch at a beachside restaurant and played in the sand and the water. It was a pretty great introduction to the area.

Algarve Bound

With our time in Lisbon over, we packed up the car and headed for the algarve region on the south coast. We were sad to say tchau to Lisboa but the prospect of beaches, sunshine, and a visit from mom, Kayla and Evelyn made it easier.

We made the drive relatively easily and got settled into our new house, which I will say is spectacular. Kayla arrived shortly after and mom made it in time for supper. Jacob was a champ and made two round trips to the airport to collect everyone.

The kids were not wasting any time and hopped right into the pool. I don’t like swimming at the best of times but this water will turn you purple it’s so cold so I was more than happy to sit in the sun while they shivered and splashed.

Mads has been waiting since October for this unicorn. It did not disappoint.

Oceanarium

We had been saving the oceanarium for our last day in Lisbon since the forecast wasn’t looking great, we knew the kids would be tired and an aquarium is always a hit. Lisbon’s oceanarium is supposedly the biggest aquarium in Europe. I wouldn’t say it’s the best aquarium we have been to (Cape town is hard to beat) but it certainly made for a great day!

The girls even learned the fine art of a nap on public transportation.

Tomorrow we head to the coast to meet up with mom and Kayla. We have LOVED our time in Lisbon. It went way beyond our expectations. The city was so charming with its old streets and lovely people and beautiful buildings. I feel like I only got to explore a tiny part of the city. I can’t wait to come back.

Nazaré

We had been keeping an eye on the wave report for Nazaré all week in hopes of seeing some of the monster waves it’s famous for. Tuesday had the most promising forecast at 10m. The waves were supposed to increase throughout the day so we spent the morning at home and headed out late in the afternoon.

While we didn’t see any of the monsters (they can get to be 30m!) they were still very impressive.

TukTuks and Alfama

The kids were understandably exhausted the day after they hiked 10km up and down incredibly steep hills so we were pretty slow to get going the next day. We had been wanting to check out the Time Out market which was just down the street and tour around Alfama, the old district.

After a late lunch we went to get our metro tickets sorted when we were approached by Ruben the tuk-tuk driver. Charlie had really been wanting to ride one so we were pretty disappointed to learn while in Sintra that the age limit was 7. Lucky for us, that’s just in Sintra so we climbed aboard Rubens tuk tuk and headed out.

He gave an excellent 30 minute tour of old town and let us stop off at a few incredible view points over the city. We finally saw St Jorges castle and the old twisty sections of Lisbon.

We finished the day early with snacks and wine in the square at the top of the Santa Justa loft and headed home.

Sintra

About 40 minutes outside of Lisbon is a little village called Sintra. It’s set way up in the hills, which says a lot since everything is a hill. It was once considered the summer retreat for Lisbon’s elite. It now boasts a village of preserved real life castles and manors and in the summer crazy crowds.

We had lunch at a sidewalk cafe before starting the trek up to Quinta da Regaleira. The entire grounds are open to wander around including the Initiation Well. It contains nine platforms, which are said to be “reminiscent of the Divine Comedy by Dante and the nine circles of Hell, the nine sections of Purgatory and the nine skies which constitute Paradise

After descending the well and navigating the tunnels we headed back down the hill through the gardens.

We tried to take a Tuk-tuk to the next castle but there was an age restriction so we called an Uber and circled the mountain to get to the main attraction the Palace de Pena. It’s a multi-coloured real life castle set at the top of the mountain. We got to tour inside which the kids thought was super interesting. We finished off our 10km home (!) and headed home.