portugal: cabo da roca to lisbon

After leaving behind the fog-engulfed hills of Sintra, we drove to Cabo da Roca and strolled across the sea cliffs near the lighthouse.  Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point in Europe, further west than Cape Finisterre in Spain, which in Roman times was believed to be the end of the known world.

It was a rugged and windswept place, but not quite remote enough to escape the tourists. The tonal sing-song of hordes of Chinese tourists echoed across the high cliffs and among the ice plants.  I’m not a litigious person, but I would have sued them if I could have, for disturbing the peace.

Once back in our MINI Cooper Clubman, Mike wanted to get closer to the ocean, so he veered off the paved road down a rutted dirt road that seemed to head off into the sea.  The ruts were deep and, sensing we would get stuck if he continued, I insisted that we backtrack out of there.

The next thing I knew, the car began performing roughly, with a thumping noise coming from the front driver’s side. We had a flat tire. We bumped into town and parked, but, to our annoyance, found no spare in the car.  We called Europcar to send a repairman or a tow truck and taxi to 3 Gomes Restaurant.

It took a good long while to sort out that incident, with a tow truck and taxi finally arriving and taking us to the closest Europcar office.  We were planning to return the car anyway, as we didn’t want to take it into Lisbon, and luckily they didn’t give us much grief.  They were partly at fault for not including a spare in the car.


Cabo da Roca


Cabo da Roca


Cabo da Roca


Cabo da Roca

We took a taxi into the city, crawling through horrendous traffic jams because of the military parade that apparently had followed us from Guimarães and was now clogging the streets of Lisbon.

After settling into Pensão Londres, we went directly across the street to LOSTin Esplanada•Bar, my favorite place in Lisbon, where we enjoyed fabulous views of downtown Lisbon and the Castelo de São Jorge.  Lunch was a a fusion between the East and the Mediterranean: vegetable samosas, red beet carpachio with greens & yogurt, and goat cheese pastry with blueberry compote.

Then we moseyed downhill from Bairro Alto, past the graffiti-covered Elevador de Gloria. Heading uphill again to Alfama, we bowed into Lisbon’s (Cathedral) and wandered among colorful laundry strung on balconies, enticing souvenir shops, peeling and crumbling buildings, trams and tuk-tuks, street art and messy graffiti, colorful tile façades, and festive flower-bedecked windows near Castelo de São Jorge. We enjoyed the sun setting on the blushing roofs of Lisbon and the Río Tejo from Miradouro de Santa Luzia.

In Alfama, we acted as if we were dating and did a kind of bar hop for dinner, stopping first for a happy hour and bruschetta at Canto da Vila bistrô.  Further down one of Lisbon’s seven hills, after passing a strange gilded busker suspended illogically in mid-air, we dipped into Bairro do Avillez, where we enjoyed several small dishes: “Linguiça” sausage bread purée with asparagus, tomato and green apple salad and “Portuguesinha,” or Portuguese cooked pie.  We topped our meal off with desserts of olive oil & honey pudding with lemon zest and Taberna’s Chocolate Cake.

After our exhausting day, we switched on the TV and watched the end of Forrest Gump, which we watched until we fell asleep.


LOSTin Esplanada • Bar


me at LOSTin Esplanada • Bar


view over Lisbon from LOSTin Esplanada • Bar


Elevador de Gloria


unknown church in Lisbon


Sé de Lisboa


Tiled facades in Alfama


view from Miradouro of Santa Luzia


view from Miradouro of Santa Luzia


view from Miradouro of Santa Luzia


view from Miradouro of Santa Luzia


eyes on us in Alfama


entrance to Castelo de São Jorge


charming window in the Alfama neighborhood around the Castelo de São Jorge




Bairro do Avillez

*Saturday, November 3, 2018*

*15,346 steps, or 6.5 miles*


“PROSE” INVITATION: I invite you to write up to a post on your own blog about a recently visited particular destination (not journeys in general). Concentrate on any intention you set for your prose.  One of my intentions was to use five random verbs in my travel essay each day: 1) date, 2) sense, 3) sue, 4) perform, and 5) echo. √

It doesn’t matter whether you write fiction or non-fiction for this invitation.  You can either set your own writing intentions, or use one of the prompts I’ve listed on this page: writing prompts: prose. (This page is a work in process.) You can also include photos, of course.

Include the link in the comments below by Monday, October 7 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this invitation on Tuesday, October 8, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!

the ~ wander.essence ~ community

I invite you all to settle in and read a few posts from our wandering community.  I promise, you’ll be inspired. 🙂

Thanks to all of you who wrote prosaic posts following intentions you set for yourself. 🙂

I am traveling from September 1 to October 4. If I cannot respond to or add your links due to wi-fi problems or time constraints, please feel free to add your links in both this post and my next scheduled post. If I can’t read them when you post them, I will get to them as soon as I can. Thanks for your understanding! 🙂