portugal

Unforgettable Week in Portugal Part4

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Lisbon BridgeIMG_3831

The day was full of wonderful list to follow, day 5 in Lisbon where our hotel located as for now we have already made some fantastic experience but it’s not yet over this day will be loaded with lots of proposal tourist spots to visit.

To begin with our day we ate our breakfast and drove to the nearby place supposed to be the next city after the famous bridge Costa da Caparica situated near Almada but unfortunately it was our bad day, an unexpected event happened all the roads leading to the bridge going to the other side of the city are close, it was a serious situation, traffic was terrible and the only option is to search another way going to the other side of the bridge.

There were police officers all over the places, which made us pretty worried, we took our maps and GPS the cause of this motion is actually because of the bikers doing their marathon for that day, I felt devastated, we lost 1-2 hours of driving back and fort since certain roads were close or deviated.

The plan was a complete disaster the last choice was to take the road to Sacavem and cross the bridge of Ponte Vasco da Gama which is about 20-30 minutes drive from Lisbon and I thought that’s the best option despite of the situation I still managed to capture some photos of this beautiful bridge of Lisbon.

IMG_3823IMG_3824 On the way to Sacavem I felt good 20-30 minutes will be fast, but we encountered another problem, arriving at the area the road to cross the bridge was also close, I felt like the world is on my shoulder, I was really sad causing us to lose time again, it was almost 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I don’t want to lose time again after this unexpected incident we stopped the car and think of another option to take.

This is really annoying when you are about to change your original plans, but on the other side it’ll show your flexibility as a traveller, there’s always something that might happened and you should always anticipate and put a plan B aside.

I opened my travel book guide and there I saw this Garden called Porta do Sol  located in Santarem and from there we can cross the bridge which is connected to go to the other island. according to the book going to this place via car might take more or less an hour, so it’s finally its decided were going to this Garden and get some fresh air to relax a little bit.

Old Castle of Santarem (Porta do Sol)IMG_3842IMG_3840IMG_3836

Finding this place wasn’t that pretty as I thought, we parked the car nearby and walked for 10-15 minutes and at last we are here in this spectacular landscape site, after an hour of driving this wonderful place welcomed us.

It has its own unique and incredible charm that you’ll feel relax and want to go to tak a nap, the site is originally an old castle and now turned into a garden, the walls, towers, and the scenery of a castle are still maintained and preserved, this place is actually calm not a lot of tourists to intrude your way.

It is situated on a high slope which include an epic view of a bridge, sky view, the view of Tagus River (the river that continues until Lisbon) and the Railway.

The scenery of Porta do Sol  have really captured my heart, blue sky, perfect forms of clouds, sunny, the weather (not hot nor cold), its refreshing wind, the view and the peaceful place itself makes you wanna stay. I don’t even want to leave this place but I must continue the adventure and not waste time, now going to the other side of the bridge is my target.

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Looking at the map of Portugal I wondered what if were gonna visit again the west coast but this time the southwest side I suggested to go to the city called Sesimbra which will take us 2 hours drive from our spot however among the popular tourists sites recommended in the book I ended up choosing the captivating pictures of Cape Espichel (Cabo Espichel) which has a church nearby to visit and of course the lighthouse and the seaside.

On the road we struggled a lot with the horrible weather waiting us after leaving Santarem the weather changed as quick as a the wind, the sky turned into a black and grey like colors and some wild thunder and lighting afterwards and then heavy rains, do you think I’m happy ? yeah still I am but with a lot of deceptions but anyways forget about it I slept the whole time, from the moment I woke up we’re almost at the site and it wasnt raining no more, I saw the sun and I was happy again, keep telling my self to cheer up cause there’s more worst than this.

Church and Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do CaboIMG_3856IMG_3857IMG_3898

Watching the site it was pretty especially with the sun’s presence my conclusion of the day might probably change, arriving at the hill-top you will see the Church and the Santuary, there were a lot of people as well a lot of cars parked side of the road and tourist busses all over. It didn’t actually surprised me to see this people cause Cape Espichel has made top 1 on tripadvisor years earlier, this site is one of the most researched and hot topic.

In the contrary of other west coast area that I have visited this is so far the most popular site attracting a lot of tourists to come. On our way to the Church a mass was on going I havent had the opportunity to take pictures inside, instead we walked around and saw this ruined hermitage not too far from the Church, continuing the road you’ll see the view of the southwest coast.

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Coastal Cliffs View

IMG_3862IMG_3860IMG_3878IMG_3880Honestly speaking I thought this site would be just the same as Cabo da Roca or Peniche so I expected that there would be not much of difference, surprisingly this one offers various scenery as you walk further there’s always a new view that awaits you.

I know now why people chose this place as top 1 in TripAdvisor, this cliffs amazed me so much each time I walk further it’s another potential perfect picture to take, the colors or the soils are as well different from each parts Espichel is famous for its dinosaur fossil trackways it is also believed that the Virgin Mary appeared here riding a mule from the ocean and up the cliffs which now led to a lot of devotees to come to visit the sanctuary.

The road to the lighthouse somewhat far perhaps 5-7 kilometers more so we took the car and drove till the lighthouse site.

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The Sunset View

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Cape Espichel Lighthouse

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Campo Pequeno, Lisbon

a14a16The next day is a lazy day, we decided to take a rest and enjoy the moment in this lovely city, including visiting at its famous City Malls, Walking around, do shopping a bit or window shopping maybe. Campo Pequeno was our choice of that day enjoying the ambiance inside the mall, roaming and browsing around the stores, walk a little bit and eat.

Startled by the prices of food, you can eat a complete meal from 6 euros and above, I was feeling excited calculating the price into “pesos” Philippine currency I’d thought that this is the most cheapest city among all european cities I’ve been.

Kababayan Restaurant, Lisbon

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Late night was reserved for my petit stomach, especial treatment of Filipino foods that I’ve missed. Thanks to the Filipina lady I met in the City of Fatima who recommends me to come over in this majestic yet simple Filipino traditional restaurant in Lisbon, it is located at Rua Marqeus Fronteira not that hard to find.

Kababayan” means “Countryman” in english, but most of the time when Filipino people addresses to someone who they don’t know they would greet and say “kabayan” literally this means for us like a “hello how are you friend” or like “how are you my friend”

The Restaurant’s place is really simple, a classic traditional Filipino style, not cozy and chic. I really love it, I like the “BahayKubo” style as their cashier, the bountiful ambiance and sensation of my country land is here I can extremely feel it.

We ordered some special Filipino dishes, since we have already ate a lot from the previous place, this night will be a little bit light, starting with some Garlic Rice, Pork Sisig, Shrimp Ginata, and Biko for dessert.

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Lastly, before we go I gently ask the owner and chat with her, I do appreciate her kindness of serving us the food I mean as an owner of the restaurant normally they don’t serve clients themselves but here I’m impressed. the style of her cooking is excellent I have enjoyed the tasty and delicate Filipino dishes, and for sure I will come back and make sure to eat the buffet next time.

Conclusions:

Overall I have visited 10 cities in Portugal, I know that there are more tourist spots that I must visited but for me I chose my own destination and despite of the fact that I haven’t visited a lot of popular places and other sites that are  recommended on social media, I should say that there are more beautiful and wonderful places that Portugal offers to those like me who clearly loves seaside views, mountains, cliffs and churches.

There are more to sites to visit in the other cities not just Lisbon though I’m not a fan of cityscapes, buildings, and streets I can say that I enjoyed my stay, Lisbon is a friendly city with its adorable people and cheap food.

There were disadvantages parts as well like prices of gasoline are kinda high, most of the museums have entrance fees, locals doesn’t speak english often (on rural areas), Toll fees are expensive so don’t forget include toll fee payment package when rental car like what we did you’ll pay less like 25 euros for the duration of your rent.

I must say 8.5 / 10

Future plans will be Porto, Faro, Lagos, Leiria, Coimbra, Braga and the rest of the cities. I’ll surely come back and continue another journey, another chapter of the book recorded and engraved in my heart and memory.

Unforgettable week in Portugal Part3

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Belem Tower, LisbonIMG_3603

known to be the civil parish of the municipality of Lisbon City which is located at the  mouth of the Tagus River this was our first stop for Day 4 in Portugal, so the plan is to visit:Belem Tower in Lisbon first, next to Casa do Castelo in Obidos, next in line will be then beach side of Nazare, then then Alcobaca City and lastly I wanna visit the most popular The Santuary of Our Lady of Fatima where I’ve heard a lot of Filipinos who are living there and also the famous apparition of Our Lady of Fatima which has a millions of devotees who come to visit her from all over the world, she is known to heal and make your prayers come true.

Our list was really full we went out from the hotel around 10:00 am after our massive buffet breakfast then packed up all the things needed then get the car for the longest ride of the day.

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25 de Abril Bridge, LisbonIMG_3631IMG_3630

At the arrival in Belem Tower we had the car park not too far from it, only 10-15 meters away but it was cozy causes to pay 2 euros for just a quick parking, evidently we were a little bit of shocked since Lisbon is really a cheap city with 5-7 euros you can have a full meal but well considering the place to park not to far from the river and Belem is not bad at all, If ever you will come here with your car it’s either you’ll get the parking space the same as us or you can also try to park somewhere else far a bit but you might walk more so depending really on your preference or you can also take the subway much easier for those who doesn’t travel with car.

The view of the Tagus River garnering the title of the longest river of the Iberian Peninsula was fantastic with the 25 de Abril Bridge this two made a splendid combination. Belem Tower is open from 10h-18h with an entrance fee of 6 euros per person but in my case I haven’t had the time to visit it with the long list I got, I desperately need to manage my time for the rest of the day however for you out there this place is a must to visit put it on your list, don’t finish your vacation in Lisbon without visiting this one and if you have time try to have a look of the inside of Belem Tower so this is how it look it the outside part just a wonderful view.

Casa do Castelo, ObidosIMG_3671

Featured as one of the most visited place in Europe is Casa do Castelo situated in Obidos a more or less an hour drive from Lisbon, The Castle itself is still intact it is sorrounded by the village is amazing will see that the houses are all around with it and it has actually a hotel and restaurants inside and you can also climb up on the wall, it’s about 30-40 minutes of walk through it from the beginning till the end  There’s no entrance fee all you need to do is come here and bring your sneakers and climb up the wall, I promise this is the most adventurous tour I have ever had.

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Nazare, PortugalIMG_3684IMG_3682

The Disneyland of surfers I must say a dreamland for all surfers, the city of waves Nazare located at West part of Portugal. After the long walk at the wall of the castle we drove to this seaside part of Nazare which is really known for this gigantic waves, the first I did was run to the ocean and look for the big waves but unfortunately it wasnt the season yet so I have to be contented of the its extraordinary view of rocks formations and the blue ocean.

Looking at the sea there were surfers practicing on smaller waves I must say they’re were pretty cool to look at, I was trying to film them and take pictures of them, with their surfboard floating and trying to catch up some medium waves, watching them meters away makes me feel a little child who wants to try surfing and playing with waves.

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The view is extraordinary refreshing, from the breeze of the air, the ray of the sun a total package that you can rarely find. After a short walk we decided to eat ice cream while watching around the area, there’s a cable car on the right side of the mountain where you can ride on it to go to the upper side of Nazare. I absolutely recommend you this place you can spend a whole vacation here if you love surfing, waves, the beach, mountains, good food a perfect location. How to get to Nazare ? it’s either you go by car 1 hour and 30 drive or you can also go by train called Rede-Expressos that will cost you  cheaper or tour buses.

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Alcobaça Monastery, PortugalIMG_3782

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Minutes drive away from the City of Nazare is Alcobaça City mainly featuring the long and sombre façade Monastery of 18th-century it has several different images from other normal Monastery that I have been to, this one specifically has its own form of cone like shape on its wall as well as the outside part it reminds me of the temples that I’ve seen in Asia like in Vietnam, Cambodia, or Thailand.

IMG_3781IMG_3772The interior part was pretty silent and calm there were palm leaves on the side part since its already the Holy Week portuguese people are also very religious, there were as well some various types of statues which represents Saints and Angels, unfortunately the museum inside is already close since we arrived somewhat late in the afternoon in the city so we walk around a little bit and decided to drive to Fatima.

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Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, PortugalIMG_3792

It is believed to be a sacred place in Portugal, It is said the Virgin Mary has made an apparition to the three children near fatima and  which led the people to build a shrine and conserve this place for her where devotees and believers come to pray and show their love and devotion.

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Upon arriving we its was already around 19h and the sky is literally dark, the weather has completely change it was more colder than we expected around, I felt differently it was like a wind embraces my body and made me feel really good, we bought some candles and prayed, seeing this people praying some are crying asking for help with their personal problems.

I must say Mama Mary does help everyone and I believe about her apparition as well the messages that she gave to those three children,and  that she does miracle for the helpless ones.

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Unforgettable week in Portugal Part 2

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The Famous Hell’s Mouth, CascaisIMG_3385

Who would not fall in love with this fantastic cliff scenery also known as Boca Do Inferno. Day 3 in Portugal we drove to Cascais City for about less than an hour only to see this marvelous creation of nature,It’s actually not to far from the city it is found nearby seaside area just 5 minutes drive and you can even park your car on the opposite side of the road the place has a restaurant where you can eat and relax and have a nice view at the same time so you can really stay there if you wanted some more time to enjoy more of this incredible seaside view.

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They have said that this Mouth form of rocks is the result of erosion of weak parts of rocks mostly in the middle area, but for me this is just another Gods wonderful creation.  I didn’t do anything once we arrived at the place I was overwhelmed and just non stop taking photos all over.

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Our next stop was supposed to be The Castle of the Moors and Pena National Palace but unfortunately it turned out to be a big dilemma to us causing to postponed the tour and just go eat lunch instead. The road going to those two most popular tourist spots are really complicated, it has spiral roads from the start to the end I was in trouble cause I have this problem with my head aching because of the spiral roads.

IMG_3434IMG_3432IMG_3437When we where on the top suddenly it became foggy all of a sudden and started raining hard a never-ending rain, we waited for almost 20 minutes but the weather didn’t change so it was the time to change plans, my stomach was calling and searching for food so we went to this restaurant near the Palace of Sintra, even after lunch the weather wasnt favorable.

Cape Roca, SintraIMG_3438IMG_3452

A 20 minutes drive away from Sintra is the west coast of Portugal where you can see eventually the wildest waves on earth it’s known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and there the famous Cabo da Roca or Cape Roca specifically situated in Cascais-Sintra Natural Park, surprisingly it was all of a sudden sunny like summer, the weather was completely different from the other side, here as you can see in the photo the big difference from the foggy one of Sintra, arriving at this place is like heaven I was imagining I get to see the western coast and huge turn of the table cause it was really breathtaking place.

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Tips while travelling by car:

  • Bring water with you and food like Fruits, Crackers or Biscuits
  • Bring your phone charger or camera’s charger in case you forget to charge it at the hotel.
  • Bringing umbrella is a must
  • Always bring extra cash or credit cards for the Toll fee (you never know) and of course
  • Bring a map of the city where you going, its important to have a soft or hard copy
  • Having your GPS or smart phone with GPS application it’s really important the detection of Gas Station must be on so anytime you might be almost out of gas you can directly check your GPS.

Cabo Carvoeiro Peniche, PortugalIMG_3554IMG_3538

Last stop is another seaside features that is popular as Cape of Coal, I personally recommend this one this is really a must to visit you will regret it, a little far from the last place it took us an hour to drive till here nevertheless all our efforts have been paid cause this place is heaven, it was a great timing with the sun setting down for couples it will surely be special I’m sure your girlfriend or wife will be amazed or this might be the perfect location to propose a marriage I’m sure the girl will say a big YES. So guys this is really recommended for you.

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Unforgettable week in Portugal

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Lisbon, Portugal IMG_3213

Also know as Lisboa for Portuguese people, this city is very rich it filled with wonderful places and beautiful kind people, very friendly and helpful.Lisbon is one of the Cities in Portugal tha attracted me most, with its Language Portuguese that has a similarity with spanish which I’m culturally influenced.

To start of my adventure in this incredible Country, I’ll tell you first what did I’ve planned for this trip. A hotel from IHG in the city center not so far from a subway station, we rented a car from Six so we can do a little tour to other cities proximity from the area, from the City Center itself you can see this city is really vibrant, colorful, and very welcoming, I also brought this little book for travel guide called Cartoville Lisbon (french version) but as for me I do like to follow this booklet just for city map reason not to be lost in worse case scenario.

There were a lot of featured places to go in this Cartoville however personally I don’t follow all this guide cause sometimes I prefer to explore more on my own and if ever I’ll feel lost I can certainly look back on the booklet, I didn’t buy any prepaid ticket for visiting museums or tours or other stuffs online for this vacation.

For the first day, We ask a full City Map from the reception at the hotel and inquire some details about the place, like where to eat, best and cheap restaurant around, interesting places to visit in near areas if its walking distance or not, don’t forget to ask for the weather for the week so you can at least bring umbrella with you, nearest supermarket, easiest ways to get to the subway stations, this is a must to do before leaving the hotel for a tour, however compare to other after arranging personal stuff at my room I wont go out for a tour directly instead

I normally go out for a shopping, No. just kidding it’s actually groceries the most important part of my voyage, If you want to save while travelling this is the best solution but you can always go to eat outside if you like everybody has their own choice.

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On that first day after buying groceries and everything that we need to the rest of the days we went out for a short walk it was 16h00 and still the sun is shining so it was a perfect timing for a walk, we went to the famous Park/Garden it’s called Botanic Garden which has a Historical museum inside not to far from the vicinity only 15 minutes walk.

IMG_31271Inside the garden there were lakes and big  bamboos, butterflies and animals around and even a cascade like figures as seen here in my lovely photos, a walk which took us more or less an hour and that’s it for our first day.

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IMG_3152.JPGSecond day was more things to do, hotel has breakfast included so we ate as much as we can and our route is to go to the city center visit some popular places around and eat some Lisbon’s speciality and of course walk a lot. taking up subway until the famous place where the tram 28  passes nearby Baixa but from that time tram didn’t pass yet so we decided to walk around and went to this famous Elevador De Santa Justa or also known as Santa Justa Lift open from 7h-21h45

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To visit the lift you must pay 5 euros but since we bought our Subway ticket for that day no need to pay for the lift cause lift fee is also included on your ticket (note: you can buy subway ticket for 1 day or 2 days or more) apparently from the photo that you’re seeing here the lift is under construction for that time but I’m sure it’s already done by the end of 2017.

Taking the lift was not too scary it has a large space for even 15 – 20 persons inside, arriving on the top the scenery was really amazing there’s a terrace where you can see the whole city view of Lisbon, its perfect view of the castle, the bridge, the houses, the well known tagus river and ocean are very exceptional.

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IMG_3217IMG_3218After this magnificent view the next destination is  Castelo De Sao Jorge or Sao Jorge Castle but before arriving there we need to walk for about 2-3 kilometers from Santa Justa Lift and passing by the center and make a little tour around and something attracted my eyes this are the “tuc tuc” or tricycle like motorcycle with three wheels which is very famous in Lisbon its like a means of transportation some for locals but mostly for tourist, this serves for transporting tourist to make some tour in the city, you can rent them for hours or even a whole day.

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IMG_3274IMG_3277Finally after almost half an hour of walking we have arrive in this hilltop with this no. 1 tourist spot in this city Sao Jorge Castle which is open from 9h-18h and 7 euros entrance fee per person, It’s quite a big area inside including a Museum, the Castle, and some ruins, there’s a place where to eat, and vendors around with their paintings and souvenirs.We didnt stop but just walking around and taking pictures, we even climb up on the walls of the castle which I have witness a formidable view from the top, I’m gonna show you some of my photos that I really treasure a lot.

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The day didn’t end there we decided to look for some souvenirs in the shops outside the castle and ended buying some souvenir stuffs, after next stop is Praca do Comercio or Commerce Square which is located near Tagus River even it’s almost 18h00 the sky is still clear so here we go another walk for 15 minutes til we arrived at this wonderful wall with a giant clock on it, there were more people than expected and plus the tram passing by i had a chance to take some pictures of it, and the day ended that’s all for the second in Lisbon destination hotel cause my feet are exhausted from walking more or less 9 kilometers on that day.

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