Day 10 |
Sep 11, 2012

Lisbon, Portugal

By Kara Weller, Biologist


Co-ordinates: 38° 42 ’ N – 09° 07’ W
Weather: sunny clear skies
Air temperature: 20° C

It was a very peaceful night on board the Silver Explorer as we stayed in Lisbon alongside the pier all night. Nobody could claim rough seas as being the reason they couldn’t sleep well. Early in the morning we awoke to overcast and somewhat foggy conditions, which rapidly burned off and once again it proved to be a beautiful clear day bright with sunshine.

The bus tour today took us outside of Lisbon to see some of the surrounding countryside and small villages and communities along the coast. After breakfast we boarded the coaches and set off to see what the landscape looked like. The coastal road we followed was very pretty. People lay in the sand on the beaches, fishing boats bobbed in the waters, people hurried to work and small villages flashed past the bus windows as we wound our way along the coast.

Our first stop was the town of Cascais, a resort community with still quite a lot of charm remaining from its origins as a simple fishing village. We wandered among the narrow cobbled streets and watched vendors setting up their restaurants for the day, bringing in fresh produce, opening shops and sweeping the sidewalks and streets. Everyone had free time to explore whatever appealed to them the most. And then back into the bus and a drive inland through wonderful pine forests and more mountainous landscape.

Our next stop was the very small town of Sintra. Once a favorite place of the 19th-century European aristocrats, it is known for its castles and beautiful mountain views. With an hour free time to explore, many dove into quaint souvenir shops, others sampled local pastries in cafes, while others wandered further afield and found lookout points higher up the hill that looked down onto town. It was a charming place.

The drive back to the ship was more direct but much less scenic.

The afternoon was spent each to his or her own desire. Free time in Lisbon holds many opportunities. Many took to the streets to shop, try some local cuisine, or simply wander to take in the views of this beautiful city. Others soaked up the sunshine and relaxed. Either way it was pleasant to have such a warm and beautiful day and the freedom to explore at will.

By 5 pm everyone was back onboard and we lifted the lines off the pier and headed back down the river, passing under the beautiful huge suspension bridge and admiring the views of Lisbon as it faded behind us. The hotel department put on a cocktail party in the sunshine on the back deck and a Recap & Briefing took place outside there as well as we headed further and further away from the beautiful city of Lisbon. Next destination- Morocco!