This morning, early we disembarked the m/s Douro Serenity for the final time, bound for our final stop in Lisbon. We stopped for lunch in Nazare, a beach town famous for its monstrous waves and surfing culture. Nazare is about 135 miles southwest of Porto and about 80 miles north of Lisbon. The bus ride took us about three hours to drive with a comfort stop along the route.
Nazare, a town of only about 10,000 inhabitants, was once known as a fishing village but has now become a tourist destination for its Mediterranean climate, quaint seaside town and its surfing. The coastline here has some of the largest waves in the world created by an underwater canyon that increases and converges the incoming ocean swell with the local water current, dramatically enlarging the wave heights.
The restaurant called San Miguel, where we had lunch, was tucked against the hillside and elevated over the white sand beach. For lunch we had deep fried fish balls and sticks with cheese. Next came a green salad with tomatoes, onions and vinegar and oil dressing. For the entrée they served a fried white fish with rice mixed with peas. Dessert was a vanilla ice cream with a strawberry swirl.
After lunch we had about an hour to explore the beachside town and its many shops along the waterfront. Most of the shops were filled with Portuguese souvenirs like the cork purses and shoes, clothing, shot glasses, roosters, mugs, painted tiles and the like. Some of the folks in our group seem to do some shopping in most every town whereas we seem to pass by everything without giving it a second look.
Our next stop along the way was at a charming seaside town called Obidos with only 3,000 residents located about 60 miles north of Lisbon. Here we took a walking tour of this small Medieval town that is encircled by a fortified wall and has become a popular tourist destination. Obidos is also popular for its bookstores. There are about 15 bookstores in this small town. It is also popular for its sour cherry liqueur called Ginginha. They serve the liqueur either in a plastic glass or in a small cup made of dark chocolate. They only charge about one euro for the tastings at most of the shops but we didn’t try it. Kent did eat a chocolate cup from a fellow traveler who couldn’t eat chocolate.
Obidos is a very charming rural town with one main street of charming shops and cafes lining both sides of the narrow cobblestone street. Many of the shops have merchandise hanging on the walls outside and you find many plants like bougainvillea hanging over the walls to enhance the charm. An artist was painting local scenes on a porch of a building using only coffee instead of paint. The coffee creates many shades of brown tones like a watercolor. One shop is filled with small cans of sardines and fish with your birth date on them. Each can has things that happened during that year as a souvenir. Very colorful and fun but not sure how long you can keep the can of fish.
We arrived at our hotel, the Corinthia Hotel Lisbon, after five-o’clock in the afternoon. After a short rest and some time to get settled into our new home we gathered at the hotel restaurant for a farewell dinner. We would be in Lisbon for three nights before our departure, but this was when they had the farewell dinner. Dinner included a salad with cheese and pickled pears, chicken breast stuffed with a Portuguese sausage and an apple tart dessert. Everything was very good.