Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Cascais - the Civil wedding ceremony and the LX factory - Day 8 and 9

On Thursday 5th April, the day started wet but eventually cleared up.
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

There's an extensive and scenic cycling/walking path that starts at the Cascais Marina to the Guincho beach almost 10km long, and as you can see in the photos below the views are spectacular. There are also a couple of playgrounds, exercise machine and statues along the way.
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.
Early evening we picked up my parents and drove to Caxias, a coastal town about 20km away towards Lisbon. 
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
After the ceremony the family of about 20 people drove to a restaurant in Cascais - Somos um Regalo  (which translates to "We are a treat") where they just serve grilled chicken, chips and salad.

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.

Being a young hip place, there are lots of murals too. Some I had photographed last September when we visited LX factory, but I found others now, although at night time the photos aren't as good. 

LX factory - the streets between buildings and the 25th of April bridge

After looking at a few menus along the restaurants on the pedestrian only streets we settled on "Da Praça para o Prato" (From the Market to the Plate). The warehouse style restaurant was well decorated with a lot of kitchen artifacts hanging from the ceiling serving as chandeliers, service was quick and friendly, and the tapas menu was varied, ingredients fresh and tasty. And for the 3 of us who weren't really interested in eating much we managed to overeat!

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.


  1. While I dislike myself for saying it, oh my god, what a day. The cake is a bit weird and we can't blame, lost in translation. I think you are so Australian to mention about the bones in fish. Our local fish is so expensive because we like it without bones. Going back now to check your photos at full size.

    1. Thanks Andrew :) I love fish, I think we get too lazy to battle the fish bones.

  2. Busy days, very nice to read. Have been to Cascais too and seen the Hell's Gate. Sad you had so bad weather at the ceremony. My daughter has flown to Porto this morning for short holidays.

    1. We visited Porto last year after about 15 years and there was a big transformation and we loved it. Hope your daughter has a good holiday Marianne.

  3. Cascais é uma zona muito bonita e fica bem perto da Lisboa.
    Um abraço e continuação de boa semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

    1. Obrigada Francisco, gosto muito de Cascais onde vivem os meus Pais e uma irmã.

  4. Hell´s mouth, oh what a name! But it sure suits the place.
    Sad the video was blown by the wind...You have a Lidl there?! Funny.
    Well, doesn´t it say rain brings luck on a wedding?
    But the cake, oh, my!
    "From the Market to the Plate" is a great motto! Sounds indeed like a hip and fun place!

    1. Yes, Lidl has been in Portugal since 1995 and has close to 250 shops. Rain is apparently a good omen for weddings :)

  5. A damp day for a wedding!

    Hell's Mouth certainly is an apt description for that place.

  6. It looks like such a wonderful time, Sami. I'm just sorry the weather wasn't better but glad you could all see it. I loved that bookstore photo -- oh, that would be fun. And the musician. Sorry about your video. It looks like beautiful country.

    1. The bookstore was pretty cool Jeanie. Yes, I'm biased, but even though Portugal is quite a tiny country it has a lot to offer the tourists.

  7. Belas imagens, de dias felizes!
    Não percebo o porquê da Av. Diana Spencer!!! Sem lhe tirar importância, não seria de dar nome a um qualquer português meritório?
    Facto da minha família: o meu pai caiu ao mar num concurso de pesca na Boca do Inferno (nos sete oitavos para ser mais precisa). Agarrou-se às rochas e foi salvo na altura pelos colegas que deram por falta dele. Era tão brincalhão que a princípio, quando chegou a casa, a minha mãe não acreditou. O meu pai nunca mais tomou um banho de mar, sequer molhava os pés à beira mar :-)

    1. Obrigada Paula. O nome da Avenida sera porque em Cascais residem muitos Ingleses? Quem sabe...
      Puxa mas que sorte o Pai ter sido salvo pelos colegas. A minha Mae tambem caiu ao mar quando era pequena, e ainda hoje tem medo do mar e ate de piscinas.

  8. Um passeio em cheio! Repleto de ingredientes para ser um feliz passeio.
    ; )

  9. Que bem que soube este passeio virtual.

  10. Shame the weather wasn't better but it looks like a wonderful time.
    Enjoyed seeing all of your photographs.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan. April is the rainy month in Portugal, so that was to be expected.

  11. I can't believe I missed the big wedding (civil ceremony). I kept thinking about how much extra you paid to have your hair done for the ceremony, and what the rain must have done to your new do.

    It looks like all you do is eat and find great places to hang out (grin). I really enjoyed all the photos, especially from the LX factory and the bookstore.

    You can have your bony fish. I'll pay extra to let them de-bone mine, thank you. All in all, it sounds like you are having a fabulous time.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. I had to cover my hair-do with the umbrella, to keep it ok! It had to last until the Sunday wedding ceremony too.
      Luckily there's no shortage of great food in Portugal, it's one of the things I miss here in Australia - the variety and the quality of the food.

  12. Dearest Sami,
    Oh my, what a lovely day to begin with and I would have LOVED to bike along the coast in such a stunning location. So sorry that the wind took away the voice and instrument you so hard try to take away from it!
    But what a fate in the mountains with that rain... We have Lidl in The Netherlands in my home town as well. Good for you to snatch up umbrellas. what else could you do?
    The intertwined hearts seem to have been made by a blind person indeed. So sad in a way and hopefully your Mother did not take it to heart as being her fault!
    All ended up being an exciting and long day; easy if you meet with several people. We always run out of hours + days when visiting with family and friends.
    Scanning still some of Pieter's memories from his time as principal and from several congresses. Then 5 scrapbooks and I'm totally done. Feeling so very happy for having used my 'off' time in a productive way.


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