FROM LISBON TO PORTO (at least that was the plan):

Próxima parada / next stop: Foz do Arelho, Portugal

After a few amazing days in Lisbon, some unforgettable hours at the Costa da Caparica, a great day in Cascais, a refreshing afternoon in the forest of Sintra and a kind of diversified day & night in Peniche, my lady and I spent four nights in Foz do Arelho (near Caldas da Rainha). We had such a wonderful, relaxing time there, we loved it!

Our initial plan was to travel from Lisbon to Porto in a week and spend each day and night in another village - but this turned out to be impossible. Why? Because it would have been “self-flagellation” to rush from one point to another without taking time to sit back, relax & enjoy. Apart from that we also wanted to recharge our batteries in Portugal - the last couple of months weren’t easy on both of us (in first world terms).

And as there are soooo many beautiful places, villages, beaches, forests and more, we realized that it would take us months, years, or maybe a lifetime to see all the things we would like to see (that’s when our idea to move to Portugal took form, but that’s another story).

After our first night in Foz do Arelho we decided to stay a second night - in the end we stayed there for four nights until we had to go back to Lisbon to return the rental car. The place just didn’t let us go. The manager of the apartment had to smile every time we said: "We stay one more night."

One of the great things there: you can choose between swimming in the lagoon and fighting with the big waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

If you should ever travel to Portugal this little village is really worth a visit - located only 90 km north of Lisbon it’s a “haven of well-being”.

It was also the perfect spot to sort all the experiences we’ve collected in the last days; a place where stress seems to be nothing more than a word in a dictionary, unlike "tranquilo", which is more like an attitude towards life in Foz do Arelho (and in so many other places in Portugal) - I can’t wait to go there again!

We lived in the beautiful building on the left (see photo #2). The charming apartment house is now called Casa do Miguel (or how I like to call it: Hotel International - some kind of an in-joke).

Lúcio, the manager, is such a wonderful, funny person! If you go there he will make your stay even more pleasant. My tip: don’t call him Miguel (or even Carlos like I did; I have to admit that I’m very bad with names), I think he hears that quite a lot.

Thanks for the wonderful chats Lúcio, we hope to see you again soon!

#1: Unknown photographer, undated, "Vista das duas praias (Lagoa de Óbidos e mar) de Foz do Arelho" (view of two beaches - lagoon and sea - in Foz do Arelho)
#2: José da Silva Dias, ca. 1912, "Chalet de Joaquim Frutuoso (now: Casa do Miguel) e escola primária (primary school)”, Foz do Arelho

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