Have you ever been to The Silver Coast in Portugal? As you can see from the lead photo, it is a beach lovers paradise, but there is much more besides!
On 18th July my son James married Toni in Hereford. I am sure many of you have seen the many lovely photographs on FB. Below are just a few. If you missed some of them, please see plenty on my timeline. It was a super occasion and a very happy day for everyone who attended.
Ready to take the vows
My sister Margaret and James' dad were the witnesses. Photo taken at The Registry Office, Hereford.
It is all official! Toni's mum, Nina, Toni, James and me at the Registry Office.
Wedding Day for my son James and daughter in law Toni. Photo taken outside Aylestone Court Hotel, Hereford.
On 20th July, Derek and I flew to Lisbon, Portugal from Bristol. A relatively short flight of two hours twenty minutes flew by (pardon the pun,) and we went to hire our car. Be warned, this is not a quick process! An hour and a half or so later we were driving out of Lisbon airport on our way to Encosta das Freiras. This is where the scary bit began! Busy? I should say so! 4 lanes, cars crossing over each other and not indicating, traffic as far as the eye could see.
Derek had written a route out beforehand and I was the 'sat nav.'
I won't bore you with all the details, but we got lost time and time again, the journey eventually taking just over three and a half hours instead of 50 minutes!! Not a journey I ever want to repeat!!!
The light and airy breakfast bar
We were greeted by the owners Fernanda and Zé who were beginning to get quite worried about us. A cup of tea was very welcome indeed and after a reasonable night's sleep, we enjoyed a continental breakfast and planned our day ahead.
Thursday and our first full day in Portugal. Caldas Da Rainha is the nearest town, this took around thirty minutes to drive to and we enjoyed walking around the quaint streets. The next place was the Óbidos lagoon and the beach at Foz da Arelho. A vast expanse of sand and in the middle was the lagoon, perfect for small children to play in and paddle. The sea is further out and the waves from the Atlantic crash onto the shore.
If you click on the blue link, there are some super photos and a good description of the area
This was a relatively cool day for Portugal, hence cardigan!! Me on Saõ Martinho beach
On Friday we went to São Martinho do Porto, a very popular tourist attraction in this region and once more a super sandy beach stretching around the bay. There are more hotels here and apartments for visitors, plus plenty of cafés and restaurants dotted all around the bay. The prices are VERY reasonable indeed. A restaurant just a few kilometres away from our hotel was the venue for the evening and we could not believe how cheap the food was.
Bread, olives, soup, cold meats, main courses, half a litre of wine, complimentary port and all for 16 euros for two people!! How they do it for that price I don't know. Superb service and fabulous food!
One of the lovely Encosta das Freiras gardens
We spent the weekend at our hotel sitting around the lovely pool, swimming and walking around the gardens, admiring the gorgeous flowers and the lake, complete with frogs and fish. Oapschatter Steve Davies and his wife and two friends paid us a surprise visit at the hotel.
Derek and his surprise birthday cake!
The owners were hosting a wedding on the Saturday for 130 people and as we were the only other guests staying, they insisted we had an evening meal with them. It was also Derek's birthday and after some delicious food and wine, a birthday cake complete with a candle was produced!! How thoughtful and kind.
On Sunday, we ate with the owners once more and met some members of their family. We were told that their home is ours to share for the two weeks we are here and to ask for anything we need. Super hospitality.
Toni and me by her sister Diana's pool
Derek and me by Diana's pool
Monday and Toni arrived at her sister in law's house and we drove over there to spend a few hours with her and ate a very satisfying lunch at the Equestrian Centre next door to the house.
Tuesday was spent at the hotel. Toni came over with her sister and brother in law to make arrangements for the second wedding ceremony. We had another super meal at the restaurant near to our hotel.
To be continued...