The Last Leg
Badajoz - our last night in Spain. ---------- Crossing the border gave me lots to think.about. This imaginery line, an intangible concept really, brought many changes including language, food and architecture. We hadn't expected Portugese to sound so different - our first encounters left us thinking there were a lot of Russian tourists! What else did we notice? The 1.5 metre passing space was reduced, I was more cautious on roundabouts. Dog ownership seems to be less, our route was mostly downhill, the small towns are clean and well kept, the Portuguese are wonderful people and Lisbon is one of the best cities we have ever visited. Music,.music, music: everywhere. It is fantastic to smell the ocean again and hear the cry of gulls. I can't imagine a better place to end the journey.
White buildings, terracotta roofs, blue skies - this is Portugal.
In the tower due to insubordination.
Arraiolos, the centre for carpet weaving. It is times like this you wish you could carry more.
Traditional country hotel
Evora - a medieval town with Roman, Moorish, and Christian influences
The modern cloister - complete with vending machine. You never know when you will need a coke!
Alcacer do Sal. Tweny kms from the coast and we could smell the ocean
Cork Tree. Not sure how often they can take the bark. This tree has been harvested as you can see.
Rock sculptures on the sea front Lisbon
This bridge is 35 km long, luckily they dont allow bikes, we took the ferry 😊
Cabo Verde musos at sunset
Lisbon - a tightly packed but strangely unstressful city
We took a 45 minute train ride to the World Heritage site of Sintra. In the 8th or 9th Century a fortress signifies the presence of the Moors. There are numerous palaces, monastries, grand homes and gardens, and it has been the summer residence for royalty and the wealthy for centuries. One day was not enough so we plan to go back again tomorrow. The photos that follow are of the general area and of the house and grounds of the place known as the Regaleira Estate, a truly spell binding place.
Pena Palace (19th century) high on the mountain overlooking Sintra.
The 8th century Moorish Fortress on same mountain as Pena Palace
Regaleira house and magical gardens
Detail of ceiling in the dining room
The waterfall is reached through an underground tunnel, the property is full of tunnels and there is also a well that can be accessed from the bottom through another of the mamy caves. The well is 9 stories and you climb a circular staircase to the upper level.
The entrance to the cave that leads to the bottom of the well
On the coast just west of Sintra and that is our tuktuk guide Sophia
So that is it, our journey done. Being back on the bikes has been awesome and Spain was amazing. Hills everyday but sweeping vistas and wide open blue skies. We had great weather and for Spain and Portugal this is definitely the time to cycle or walk. Thanks for following our trip, hope you have enjoyed it. Home on Friday.