Come amble with me!
This week, let’s have a relaxing wander around Cascais, a town just outside Lisbon that provides a popular weekend break for Lisbonites and a beach-blessed holiday location for sun-loving tourists who want the possibility of a side trip to Lisbon.
It is a place I had long avoided as I expected it to be overfilled with people, Irish pubs and English breakfasts. But I’m glad I investigated in the end, as it’s a very attractive place, with a mixed history of fishing, royalty and more, plus some tasty food.
Starting out at the railway station, it’s a short walk down to the busy pedestrianised Rua Frederico Arouco. It’s easy to relax and feel at home here, with a few splashes of street art, a traditional Portuguese calçada pavement and racks of Ronaldo beach towels.
A short detour to the left takes us to Largo da Misericórdia, where there’s an attractive church, Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia, that blends well with the pale floor tiles. But the real reason for heading this way is a hunt for a cafe with a view, the House of Wonders. It is worth the search, so we’ll break for a while and enjoy cake and coffee with a scenic view.
Energy levels topped up everyone?
Good, it’s time to find the sea.
A short walk along Rua das Flores, brings us to the distinctive Palacio Seixas on the seafront, surrounded by nets, seagulls and boats.
We’ll wander further along the seafront soon, but first it’s time for a quick stop at the large square of Praça 5 de Outubro with its multiple curves of calçada paving.
The Town Hall, embellished with traditional azulejos, skirts one side of the square, and standing out in the open is a statue of a bold King Pedro I.
Now back to our sea quest.
It’s not hard to find the seafront and the beaches, and we aren’t the only ones enjoying the views:
We now continue away from the town centre, and get the occasional peek at a small lighthouse hiding away on our left side.
However, there is another building that is happy to show off its glory: the old Torre de S. Sebastião, now the Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães.
It was built in 1900 by Jorge O’Neill, a Portuguese / Irish aristocrat connected to the tobacco industry. In 1910, the Count Manuel de Castro Guimarães bought the house and donate the building and its garden to the people of Cascais following his death in 1927.
The gardens of the house have been combined with land previously owned by the Gandarinha Viscount, to form the Parque Marechal Carmona. This charming park has quiet spots for a rest away from the beach, plus fun areas for the children, and a fair number of colourful local residents to keep you company.
Time to stride on, though, as the walk along the coast gets a little more rugged here with great scenic views. You may be temped to rest, but our ultimate destination is calling.
The Mouth of Hell is yelling for attention. The weather today is too idyllic, to really get the feel of the power of this gaping chasm of a collapsed cave, but the mouth has quite a story to tell, even without the crashing waves.
The Boca do Inferno is known by many as the place where Aleister Crowley, a British astrologer, magician and occultist, faked his death in 1930. The story tells us that with the help of poet Fernando Pessoa, he created a false suicide, supposedly to escape a girlfriend he no longer wanted to see. It seems more likely to have been a publicity event.
Pessoa handed the suicide note to the media, who announce Crowley’s departure, but the magician hid away, before reappearing three weeks later at the opening of an exhibition of his works in a Berlin gallery. The words of his letter are shown on a plaque on the wall here.
This has been about a 3km meander, so I now give you the choice of a stroll back into town, or call a taxi. Or, probably better still, enjoy a good seafood meal at the restaurant here. Whatever your choice, I’ll see you for another walk soon – location as yet unknown.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 20 May 2019
Posted as part of Jo’s Monday Walks