Just what we wanted to see before packing our bags. Can’t say enough good things about this home test kit – ease of use, computer support, friendly phone app.

WIth a nod to former math lessons on the order of operations, the above formula pretty much sums up our latest travel adventure: Twice the patience plus tenacity multiplied by flexibility and divided by covid and British Airways resulted in an overall happy landing in one of our all-time favorite places, Portugal. (An aside on British Airways: a challenge from start to finish. Poor communication, abysmal website, lethargic service providers, and the repeated excuse of “something is wrong in the computer” when everyone knows that SOMEONE put that something in there in the first place. Even the fact that our flights were relatively empty was countered by finding out that the armrests in our cabin were fixed, meaning you could not lift them up to avail yourself to more comfortable seating. Enough complaining…really…we were happy with travel overall and we got where we wanted to be safely.)

After almost 24 hours of wearing an N95 face mask, a seamless connection through Heathrow to Lisbon (Heads up: the Posh Cheese and Pickle sandwich from Pret A Manger in the airport lounge was a real culinary find: fresh whole grain baguette, sharp cheddar, pickle relish, red onions, lettuce), a productive transaction with our rental car folks at the Lisbon airport and a 30-minute drive to our flat we tumbled into bed and awoke the next morning to beautiful views and comfortable outdoor temperatures.

Looking west over the Atlantic Ocean from our 4th floor balcony.
Our building was set into the hillside at the end of a narrow curving street.
It was interesting to see the mix of old and new buildings.
Bob quickly made this his outdoor office, spending a good part of each morning and evening having coffee and reading.

On this visit we once again chose to stay outside of Lisbon: last time we were in the charming town of Seixal, a ferry ride across the Tagus from the city; this time we stayed in Cascais just up the coast, in an area billed as “The Riviera of Portugal”.

The waterfront just 3 blocks from our front door.
The waterfront, beaches (quite unpopulated in February, bursting full in summer), and Promenade about three blocks from our front door.
It was wonderful to have a train stop just minutes away as well.
While we had mostly sunny days, we did stay closer to home on one overcast afternoon and enjoyed sailboat watching.
Walking down our street we found a variety of shops, restaurants, and parks. This became our favorite cafe.
The obligatory food photo: prato do dia (plate of the day) of cod fritters, rice with tomatoes, salad, bread, olives and wine.

We took a day trip north to check out both Ericeira, with its surfing beaches, and Caldas da Rainha, known for its glazed ceramic pottery. On another day it was a 40-minute train ride into Lisbon city center for a walk along the river and late lunch.

Finding interesting sights even under our feet at Praça do Comércio.
Lovin’ Lisbon!
Walking along the ocean, less than a mile from our flat, we came to Cascais Centro. Sunbathers, volleyball players, and children splashing in the water entertained us as we enjoyed our bench in the sun.
In addition to the town museum that is right on the square, the Casa das Historias Paula Rego and Museu Condes de Castro Guimaraes are within walking distance.

Yes, another look down at our feet.

As we made the transition from Lisbon/Cascais to Porto we stopped to visit the medieval walled city of Òbidos. It has a rich history that includes the Romans, the Moors and the Portuguese. It was presented to Queen Urrana on her wedding day. What a gift!

After driving up a very curvy, steep and narrow dirt road we reached the entrance leading to one of the passageways through the wall.

One of the stonework buildings within the walls.

View of the modern city from atop a rampart.

On to our next adventures in this amazing country.