European Cruise with All the Family travel blog

A fountain in Nazare

Detail of fountain in Nazare

Chrisine with view of Nazare Beach from Sitio

Wares for sale in Sitio

Sitio Church

Nut and dried fruit stall and vendor

Nazare from Sitio - our hotel is the large building in the...

Rock overhang in Sitio


A Sitio side street

A Tasquinha Restaurant

Iain in Restaurant

Streets of Nazare at 10pm

I am afraid I did the unforgivable yesterday and got sunburned. I had tried to stay in the shade, but a combination of walks along the beach and the reflected sunlight from the sand took its toll. I am now very much "glow in the dark".

We got up and applied some soothing cream to my sunburn and I checked our e-mail. We got the sad news from a friend about a mutual friend who is also suffering from cancer and whose days seem very much numbered. It made us realize how fortunate we are to be on this trip and being able to spend time with the children and grandchildren.

We went for breakfast. I left Christine at the breakfast room and went to the bus station to buy tickets to Lisbon, the next leg of our journey. It did not take long and Christine was ready to go when I returned. We walked over to the funicular went up to Sitio. It is a quaint little town. We thought we would see more of it by taking a tourist train round. We did not realize this is the same train we have seen round Nazare, so, you guessed it, first stop, Nazare! The joys of being in a strange country where people speak a foreign language - or is that us? Nevertheless, we did see some parts we would not have seen otherwise. We ended up back in Sitio and we admired the view and browsed the stores. We had lunch in a little cafeteria, browsed some more and sat under a tree in the square and ate a large cookie which most resembled a biscuit based peanut brittle. It was really tasty and not too sweet. Sitio reminded us of some of the places in Greece that we have visited, with its whitewashed buildings and narrow cobbled streets. Its relative calm is welcome after the busyness of Porto and Nazare. Like Valenca Do Minho which we visited from the ship, it is a rural contrast to busy city life which even tourism cannot take away. We headed back in the direction of the funicular and found it quite busy. We did get on the second one. We walked back to the hotel and read and rested for a while.

We got ready for dinner and walked along a narrow street to a restaurant which both the hotel and Rick Steves had recommended. When we got there, it was not open and there were several people standing waiting. We have been told that people in Portugal and Spain do not eat early. The trouble is that they ALL eat late, and trying to get a table later on is impossible. We have learned to be at the restaurant of our choice when it opens - between 7 and 8. You then have the pick of the tables before the crowds converge. A Tasquinha proved to be very good. Much superior to last night in atmosphere, service and quality of food - as well as being cheaper! We had not fully risen from the table when another couple were in taking it over. Our hosts in Porto had complained that the tourist trade was down considerably from last year, but the restaurants where we have eaten have all been crowded.

We walked along the waterfront for quite a distance and back to the hotel on crowded streets. We have remarked on the difference in lifestyle from Alberta. Here people are out on the streets till late and restaurants and sidewalk cafes are crowded. We have never stayed up - or awake - long enough to see when things quieten down.

Now to bed, with an undecided plan for tomorrow. These days in particular are deliberately unstructured to give us time to recover from the hectic pace of the cruise and trying to keep up with four lively youngsters!

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