Lisbon: We Had To Make A Choice
It’s now Monday, our last full day in Lisbon. We’ve been exploring many different parts of the city and we thought of leaving the city to check out a couple of places. I did ask TripAdvisor experts if we could do this all in one day….go to Cascais (a beach town), and Sintra (well-known for its various palaces and gardens). The general answer was “yes” but we’d be in a rush. And that’s exactly what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want us to cross a location off of our bucket list for the sake of saying that we’ve been there. Especially with us having our 2 little ones. They’ve been extremely patient with all of the walking and all-day gallivanting that we’ve been doing. We’ve been on the go since we left Los Angeles on Wednesday. Since getting to Lisbon, the kids would get up by 8 or 9, and we’d get back to the hotel by 10pm.

So after giving it some thought, Nancy and I decided to go to the beach. We are, after all, beach bums. We were just on Maui a few weeks ago, and most of our extended family members will be going to Kauai later this week. Cascais was an easy decision. Sintra required more preparation, and research. I didn’t get to do that. Nancy prepared our stuff the night before so that we’d be all ready to go in the morning.

After we ate our morning breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel, we flagged an Uber and asked to be driven to Cais do Sodre. This is the train station where needed to go to and board a train to Cascais. Since we already had our Viva Viagem card, all we needed to do was “zap” our card on one of the turnstiles. We board the 10:20 am train. We were one of the last ones to board and were fortunate enough to find two empty seats. We ended up putting Caitlin and Evan on our laps. Caitlin and I had window seats,
The train ride to Cascais was pleasant. It was not a high-speed train. There were probably over 10-15 stops along the way. It was awesome to see the Golden Gate Bridge of Europe, Belem, Monastery, Belem Tower. The train passed a few beaches on the way to Cascais. For a change, it was great to see the ocean. As someone who lives in Southern California, our Pacific Coast Highway is arguably one of the best in the world and we should learn to appreciate it more.
As the train approached Estoril, I noticed that the area was quite lively with lots of people swimming and sun bathing. It was yet another hot day, not as hot as the prior days, maybe 80 degrees or so. The next stop, if I remembered correctly, was Cascais. We made it. Again, a very smooth ride.

Once we got off, just like metal to a magnet, my kids saw McDonald’s. Again, they’ve been nothing but pleasant to be with during this entire trip. Since it was almost close to noon, we grabbed a quick lunch for them. Thankfully, this particular McDonalds offer free WiFi, power outlets, and tablets for kids to play with. I was able to charge my phone and GoPro during this down time.


Just a few minutes away from McDonald’s was Praiha da Rainha. This is where we played and stayed for a coupe of hours. It was crowded, but we were able to find a spot to lay our towels. How was the ocean water? It was not as warm as Hawaii’s but not at as cold California’s. So it’a happy medium. Caitlin and Evee quickly adapted to the water and played in the sand. They love to swim and play in the water. We just let them do whatever they wanted. This day was unlike the other days where we’d go from one attraction to the next. This was much needed…this was our downtime.

 

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see lots of stores and restaurants in Cascais. There were lots of choices. It was already past 2pm when Nancy and I decided on sushi. We went to Sushissimo and had a few rolls (tuna, shrimp, salmon skim, futomaki). It was good enough to get us through lunch. Evan also had a small pizza from a local Pizza Hut. He took his personal pan pizza with him as we walked around Cascais.

 

 

 

By 4pm, we decided to head back to the train station, however, I saw Santini, a gelato shop. I remember this being mentioned in the TripAdvisor forum. There was a long line, we must’ve waited for about 10-15 minutes. We ordered ice cream for all of us and enjoyed sitting at one of the corner areas. By the time we walked out, that line even doubled. So glad we got our Santini gelato before the bigger crowd came.

 

 

 

We started to walk back to the station by 4:45pm. Fortunately, the next train was scheduled to leave at 5:05pm. This time we were one of the first ones board and we found comfortable seating for the 4 of us. The train left on time, and arrived at the Cais do Sodre station by 6pm. I was feeling the same bug again – the seafood dining bug. I debated whether to go to Sete Mares or Cervejaria Trindade. They were both recommended during a recent “seafood dinner” thread that I created. We decided to make reservations at 7pm over at Cervejaria Trindade.
Since it was only 6pm and knowing that our kids don’t eat seafood (due to allergies), we walked across the street to Mercado da Ribeira (Time Out Market). Oh how convenient! We fed the kids with chicken, while for my appetizers, we bought croquettes (traditional beef, and chicken with bits and pieces of almonds). I dipped them in Tabasco, and I was a happy camper.

We left the market 6:45pm, and requested an Uber. Nelida, our Uber driver, arrived within 3 minutes. Cervejaria Trindade was just a few minutes away (3-5 minute drive). When we walked in Nelida’s car, she said, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak English good.” I said, it was perfectly fine. In fact, we had a couple of drivers who didn’t even speak to us. She also said, “today is my first day with Uber.” She started to drive, she follower her GPS, and we went in circle for a couple of times. That’s what the GPS was instructing her to do. On her 3rd attempt I suggested for her to try a different street and she did. We ended up near Cais do Sodre station. There were lots of construction activities going on. She asked if I could use my phone’s GPS. It was a bit strange, but sure, why not. it was already past 7pm at this time. We had dinner reservations at 7pm. In the end, it was me and my GPS who saved the day. But that’s okay. She really wanted to make a good impression, but the construction activities and her GPS did not help her at all. I’m just glad that she was very pleasant. We made it to the restaurant by 7:15pm. No problem!

Cervejaria Trindade

 

Upon entering the restaurant, first impression, “wow”….it was just beautiful. The tile work, the colors, the long dining halls. When I called for reservations, I asked that we be seated in the patio. It was a gorgeous evening and the patio was perfect. I only had one thing in mind, Arroz de Mariscos. We also ordered a kid’s meal, steak and rice for Evan, since Caitlin already ate at Time Out Market.

We ordered the Arroz de Mariscos. This was our 3rd Arroz de Mariscos in Lisbon. We’ve gone to Uma Maisqueira and Pinoquio. The dish finally came. It was served to. It was a sight to behold…lobster…shrimp….clams…aaaahhhh, and it was perfectly cooked. Lots of seafood inside. It was not overcooked at all. The shrimp was tender, not chewy. It was a meal we truly enjoyed.

 

 

 


For dessert, we ordered Natas de Ceu…..layers of sweet bicuit, almonds, sweet egg cream. It was delicious. Extremely creamy….no cake-like taste. Another great dinner in Lisbon!!! After dinner, we decided it was a good time to walk around for a bit before we decided to head back to the hotel. Thanks for following us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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