Thursday, 11 April 2013

Portugal: Spring 2013

I love that my health has improved so that we can chase the sun and dip our toes in the sea. This was our first trip to Portugal visiting relatives and the kids had such fun sharing the experience with their Scottish cousins who joined us for the family adventure. We stayed in Cascais about 30km West of Lisbon.

Cascais, a former fishing village, which gained fame as a resort for the former Portuguese Royal family in the 19th and 20th century. It is situated in the Estoril Coast, a very popular coastline for locals and tourist alike. This beautiful coastal settlement originated in the 12th century and by the 13th century the fish production from this fishing village served the Capital Lisbon, pretty impressive right?!


It is closely situated to beautiful Sintra, a world heritage site. We visited the national park and even manage to score a lunch without kids as it's not really a wheelchair friendly place, one of many good things about going on holiday with other families. It has magnificent gardens, fort, palace, shops, restaurants and a very beautiful waterfall where we relaxed and I even managed a couple of minutes of crocheting (bliss).

 Having spent the first 24 years of my life in South Africa, I so miss the sun and the sea, so I need very little encouragement to get into the water. Fortunately the kids had some wetsuits as it was very chilly, but for us oldies it required bucket fulls of courage. Unfortunately temperatures stayed well below 20C, but then again it felt like the tropics compared to the UK.


I just love how your kids retrace your steps in life and how you relive your childhood. I have such fond memories of spending days on the beach as a child. There is nothing more exhilarating than finding little sea creatures and exploring this different world that surround us. The kids found some washed up octopuses (ten in total), an amazing starfish and various jellyfishes.

There are many things I dislike about being fairly immobile and lacking energy, but then every cloud has a silver lining and mine was my little hook and yarn.

and watching the man I love more than words can say live life with our children. Isn't it fun being buried?!

We also visited the National Palace in Mafra, which was built during the reign on King John V (1707-1750). This sumptuous Baroque building has the most beautiful fresco's and the biggest Palace library I have ever seen.

The library was 88m long, 9.5m wide and 13m high. I could have spent a day just in the library.


It also had some very 'interesting' furniture. I am all for stag heads, in fact I love them, but this didn't ooze my idea of comfort.


Just love all the stags!

This is a very lovely little fort in Cascais, perfect for the kids and my wheels.

It has the most beautiful aspect, as these places often have, and the kids had such fun clambering over boulders and exploring. For me, I just sat and soaked in the beautiful fresh (and cold) air and the very pretty flowers, aren't they just lovely?!

During the hols, I managed to crochet a few things, it's the perfect opportunity to do little project that doesn't require much space in your luggage. I just love having tea towels with little crochet edges, and to compliment my yearning for Spring I chose yellow, a colour I don't often use. I am really pleased with the result. Do you crochet edges for your tea towels and what colours do you choose?
I also have this dream of having loads of crochet covered coat hangers and this holiday was as good a place to start as any.
I tried to follow Dottie Angel's 'happy hanger' instructions, but I couldn't get the correct length, so I changed it a bit. It is still work in progress, so I will play around with it a bit more with some future updates.
'There's no place like home'! Dorothy's words echo in my ears as she taps her pretty little red shoes. I love the Wizard of Oz, it is such a classic film and one our whole family love. Well, it's true and it is good to be home, just wish it was a bit warmer and more Spring like. My poor daffodils are still waiting on some warmer weather to come into bloom. Everything looks so dry and in need of a good downpour and some sun. It's amazing what you need to do to get back to life after a holiday away, it's rather epic. We now have our furry little friends home from the kennels, I always feel their absence when they are not around. Do you have any pets, and what do you do with them when you go away? 
Now that we are back home, there is that slight pressure of all the things that needs doing already competing with all things that I want to do, such fun to see which will win (but then I think I know the answer here). What have you been up to over the last week? What projects are you working on or planning?



  1. Looks fantastic, would love even a tiny bit of sun on my body at the moment !

  2. Your photo's are fantastic! And it makes me LONG for our holiday in France. Believe it or not, but the mesmerizing effect has still not left me. And now there is Italy to look forward to!!!. I'm so pleased that you could soak up a bit of sun ,even though it was cold, and see the family again. I'm sure the kids had a ball. I did not realise that they would be seeing the scottish cousins as well.
    I am sooo proud of you that you actually managed to crochet while on holiday. That was something I never achieved. Taking embroidery or quilting along with me on holiday. Or rather, let me refrase, I took it along but that's where it ended.
    Your dish cloths are so beautiful and cottagy. I love it and no, I have never managed to do anything about mine.
    The coastal town where you stayed look lovely. Really Portuguese - well I think so seeing as I,ve never been to portugal.
    The photo's of the kiddies on the beach makes me want to cry - I miss them so much. You and Andrew look so happy. We MISS you!!