A year ago this week we landed in Lisbon, where we were first exposed to Portugal’s amazingly inexpensive yet delicious wine, the beautiful (albeit rainy, at least during our visit) streets of Lisbon, and some cramped living quarters, especially in the steep stairway of our rented apartment.
One year later, we are very much enjoying the inexpensive wine (with a bit of a taste for their “green wine,” or “vinho verde”), we’ve driven the winding streets of Lisbon and the surrounding area to the point where we hardly use the GPS anymore, and the apartment we purchased for short-term rentals has its own narrow stairway (although not as narrow as the one we rented in Belem, shown at the right).
We couldn’t be happier with our choice of Portugal. We were fortunate enough to find a house in Sesimbra just minutes away from a sandy beach that stretches beyond sight. We pass by a medieval castle every time we drive into town. And while we have had some of the same May rain we did a year ago, it quickly gives way to 75-80 degree days, which is perfect weather for the beach or our ever-warming pool. I describe it thusly because it’s still too damn cold to swim in. I’ve jumped in a couple of times for an immediate cool-down. But it’s straight to the ladder after the cold water wreaks its bodily-shrinkage-havoc.
A quick drive into Sesimbra town brings us into a delightfully touristy area of shops in front of another nice beach. Condos and other buildings are built into the hillside, reminiscent of a seaside town in Greece. And the wine is still as inexpensive as it was a year ago.
In addition, the area surrounding our home has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of nature’s beauty. We enjoy taking walks whereby in the first five minutes we are treated to a 220 degree vista of the Atlantic ocean. We can see the Cabo Espichel lighthouse from the upper floor of our house, and can even walk to it if we don’t mind a two hour round-trip hike.
While taking a walk recently, I decided to photograph the various weeds and flowers that lined the way. Yes, even the weeds are beautiful in Portugal!