Lisbon & Cascais
I went to Lisbon the first time just before the revolution, over fifty ears ago, when I was in the Royal Air Force. I went back to revisit and to show it all to my wife over a couple of days, just a week or so ago.
The first visit was to the Portuguese Air Force base at Montijo, just over the water form Lisbon. We were supporting a NATO exercise, but like all other exercises it was not really well researched, and the Portuguese turned out as experts with the kind of equipment that we had on offer.
Anyway a good deal turned into a better one because we each had some three days off each. I went to Lisbon and Cascais and both turned out to be better than they are now.
The Portuguese were so friendly and helpful, a thing that they have, if possible, improved upon. I managed to find everything on a nothing budget and finished the trip by hitching a ride on the bull-fight special back to Montijo, seeing the bull-fight (Portuguese style) and walking back to the base from the village.
The trip with Ana, my wife was based at Cascais and a swish hotel there in the fortress. Cascais is a wonderful town for a couple of days in bad weather. I think it would be quite different in the sunshine and crowds of the summer. When I was there the first time it was not bad at all. I visited midweek, the beach was semi-full and the bar where I had a break in the square ruined my budget on just a coke. There was a definite break between Cascais and Estoril, which does not exist now, it is built up between the two.
Lisbon is a great City. We got a trip in a Tuk-tuk, from a parking spot next to the mini-castle of Belem. It was the perfect way to see everything and it really is a great town seen that way. The constant graffiti on the walls of the town got to me, but it gets to me everywhere.
We finished at the Explorers monument just down the road from where we started. I saw it first on the train to Cascais. I enjoyed the first visit more, but Ana thought that the towns were great, seeing it all for the first time.