My daughter and I had an appointment at my sister's hairdresser in Cascais, where I tend to go when I visit Portugal as I like her style. Unfortunately she tends to overcharge me and my daughter as we don't live in the country, so obviously have more money than the locals.
Oh well, as it's not often that I go there I let it go...
Hair done we went back home for lunch with my husband, and after lunch I went for a walk.
Our Airbnb apartment was just 400mt from the sea and the afternoon was warm and sunny, so I walked about 1,5km to Boca do Inferno (Hell's mouth).
What was believed to be a cave, has through time and the force of the sea become an open cavity with an arch battered by the sea waters. It's one of the most visited natural attractions in Cascais, and it was full of tourists at the time.
A young man with his guitar and a great voice was singing away and I sat there for a while listening to him. Before leaving I told him I had enjoyed his singing and gave him a tip. I made a video of him singing a Brazilian song but with the wind in the background the video isn't good which is a pity.
|Hell's Mouth in Cascais|
The cycling/walking path in Cascais, the low buildings across the road, children's playground, a street named after Princess Diana.
Our Airbnb apartment had a private terrace at the top from where we could see to one side the mountains of Sintra and to the other side the sea in Cascais. On the top right photo in front of the building from where the sea can be seen at the end.
|Top - the building where we stayed with views to the mountains of Sintra on one side and the sea on the other.|
On the right you can see the sea just down the road.
We were meeting up for dinner with two other couples who I met through their daughters who live in Perth, but who coincidentally happened to have been born in Beira, my hometown in Mozambique.
I had chosen a restaurant that was recommended to me - Mercearia do Peixe (literally translated it means - Fish grocery store). They also serve meat, but their specialty is fresh fish. Two different types of fish were ordered, both just served grilled with boiled potatoes, carrots, broccoli and green beans, which we drizzled with olive oil or a butter sauce.
Even though one of them had a lot of fish bones, both fish were lip smacking!!
On Friday 6th, it was my niece's civil wedding ceremony. Originally it was meant to be held at the Registry office, and due to space restrictions only the parents and siblings would attend.
The day before the groom secretly arranged for the ceremony to be held a few hours earlier at a park near Cascais, so the remainder of the family and a few close friends could attend the ceremony too.
It was a miserable wet, windy and cold day, and on the way to the park we stopped at Lidl (a German discount store) to buy umbrellas.
Glad we bought them as even though there was a covered area for the ceremony there were a lot of holes in the cover and many of us had to hold up our umbrellas to keep dry.
The park where the ceremony was held was in the nearby village of Alcabideche - Parque Penhas do Marmeleiro, is about four hectares, with views of the Sintra mountains and the Sintra-Cascais natural park, with wooden platforms allowing access to the river below. There's also a kid's playground, toilets and car parking. It would have been a great place to visit on a sunny day.
|The park on a rainy day -views of the Sintra mountains, various wooden platforms, the covered area where the ceremony took place|
|Exchanging rings, a family selfie, the quirky African themed sneakers both were wearing, the happy couple|
My Mother had ordered a cake from a nearby bakery, but somehow they didn't interpret the shape she requested very well - it was meant to be two intertwined hearts.
After lunch we all had a slice of cake which was tasty, even though the hearts looked a bit defective.😜😜
|Somos um Regalo Restaurant, Cascais. The cake to commemorate the Civil wedding ceremony, a nice house across from the restaurant|
Later that evening, my husband Jose, daughter Karina and I drove to the Lisbon airport to pick up Thomas (Karina's partner) who was arriving from Amsterdam at 8pm.
We weren't really hungry as we had a late lunch, but because Thomas was hungry we went to the LX factory, an area he didn't know, where we looked for a Tapas type restaurant.
Located under the 25th of April bridge, the area housed a big textiles factory started in 1846, that was later abandoned and fell into disrepair.
The area has now been returned to the city in the form of the LX factory - with a lot of creative small businesses, like advertising agencies, designer workshops, art galleries, plus lots of little eateries, bars and a thriving night life - a very hip hotspot in Lisbon.
|LX factory - the streets between buildings and the 25th of April bridge|
|The restaurant where we ate - From the market to the plate, and the quirky ceiling decorations|
While walking around I came across a very unique bookstore called "Ler devagar" (Read Slowly) which has apparently earned the title of one of the 20 most beautiful bookshops in the world by the American publication Flavorwire, which also mentions the Lello bookshop in Porto, that I visited last year.
Housed in a former newspaper printing workshop, the bookshop stocks a large selection of art and culture books as well as many foreign language books across the two floors and among old printing machines. It also hosts many cultural activities, concerts and exhibitions. It has two bars and you can just order a drink or a coffee and sit around reading a book, having a chat with friends and enjoying the atmosphere.
It opens at midday but they only close at 9pm, midnight or 2am depending on the days.
I'll have to visit it properly next time I'm in Lisbon. In fact the whole LX Factory deserves a good look during the day.
And it was after midnight when we returned home to sleep.