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2008 Log
Page 3

Our Route North. Click to enlarge.
Our Route North.
The waves still batter the marina. Click to enlarge.
The waves still batter the marina.
 Click to enlarge.
Between the showers we see the palace high on the hill.
Algarve sun rise. Click to enlarge.
The old town of Sintra.
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Storm bound in Cascais.

Yes, 50 knot winds, Force 10+, 5 - 7 meter seas and horrendously heavy showers. No snow yet, but unlike England, the rain here is warm.
We visit the cities of Lisbon and Sintra, and visit a super Museum in Cascais.

Last night we took a real bashing, we even had waves 300mm (1 ft) tall in the marina. Before going to bed I saw 49 knots, and later in the night even more, that's judging from our angle of heel in the gusts.

The following afternoon we met Keith and Jo from Sapphire Voyager, and from their tale we knew we had got off lightly. They were in a berth 20m from the western end of the marina so 20m from the Atlantic ocean, storm and all. Each wave would hit the outer wall, rise 10m in the air above them and the 100's of gallons of sea water it had contained would drop onto them. Inside their saloon it was deafening, they had to shout to communicate, they dare not go outside and they knew the fenders were being squashed flat. They had no sleep and even the following morning's mere gale still pinned them aboard due to the sea state having eased little. Janet and I later took photo's of the sea hitting the wall, and even when the wind was down to 30 knots and the sea 3m it still looked dramatic.

Palacio National de Sintra.
Algarve sun rise. Click to enlarge.
The old town of Sintra.

With the weather being so foul we decide to travel a few miles inland to Sintra which is in the national park just North of Cascais. The no. 417 bus took the coastal route, via the lighthouse at Cabo do Roco, to Sintra and is the route we'd recommend.

The Palacio National de Sintra, at the heart of the old town, is dominated by a pair of comical conical chimneys. The kitchens, situated directly beneath the chimneys, must have had a tremendous cooling draught from them, very necessary in the summer months I'd guess. The palace was built in the 14th century and remained a summer retreat for the royal court until

the late 19th century. Just as we arrived in Sintra a tremendous downpour started and we had to take shelter. This photo is just as the rain stopped. A dark cloud still hangs above the palace.
We have a photo gallery of the palace which you can view. Click the camera to view.

Also in Sintra are 5 walks and all well documented on brochures from the tourismo. One goes to Pena Palace, a real must-see place, but guess what; we missed it. Next time maybe. The walks do look good though.

 Click to enlarge.
The house of Condes de Castro Guimaraes.
 Click to enlarge.
One of the noisy Peacocks.
Museum and grounds of Condes de Castro Guimaraes

The museum and grounds are difficult to miss. First they're only 5 minutes from the marina, and second, in the ground live about 25 peacocks and they can be heard for miles.

The museum, situated on a small sea inlet and built in 1892, was once the house of Condes de Castro Guimaraes. The Conde (Count) and his wife lived alone here until 1920 when they both died childless. The house and its contents were thus left to the state. Inside the decor has been maintained together with many of the original artefacts owned by the Conde.

 Click to enlarge.
Entrance courtyard and fountain.
 Click to enlarge.
Park land sculpture.

Photography within the house is prohibited beyond this courtyard but fortunately the park has no such restrictions. Elsewhere in the park; is a small zoo, a bird and wildlife pond, many other sculptures, specimen trees and plants, a kitchen garden and much more. Well worth a visit.

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