Summer in December

As a mainly Catholic country, Portugal embraces Christmas with markets, decorations, nativity scenes and whole villages lit up and dedicated to family festivities. It’s all quite lovely.

Winter Wonderland at Eduardo VII park

And warm.

“It’s not proper Christmas is it?” Jonathan stated, “I mean it’s not cold, wet and windy”

Lisbon was doing its best with an ice rink and Santa’s grotto but we had spent the day basking in T shirts under 18 degree blue skies. In our minds it was difficult to reconcile the two, but we didn’t struggle too hard with the idea.

We’d decided to take it easy today after yesterday’s 12 mile expedition. So, after a leisurely and late hotel breakfast, where I finally spotted the Bucks Fizz ingredients near the Nespresso, we headed off in search of lunch.

We found it by the beach in Cascais. A resort town, 45 mins west of Lisbon by train, it has a pretty mix of hotels, centro historico and a marina to wander around.

And a rather pleasant terrace on the Vila Cascais overlooking the harbour that provided excellent cocktails and salads for lunch and plenty of people watching opportunities.

Others were clearly at odds too with the weather. One bikini clad young lady sunbathed on the sand while a lad and his girlfriend sat wrapped up in themselves and fur trimmed puffa jackets. Two gentlemen sat near us in shorts as another couple, sporting some wonderful woolly hats, bought scarves.

Ironically, for what was meant to be a relaxing day we still clocked up around 8 miles – Lisbon is irresistible to explore on foot. Apparently, over the millennia, our modern creative Homo sapiens brains developed mainly as a result of walking around 12 miles a day, generally in search of food.

As we sit in the Hard Rock Cafe awaiting burgers of prehistoric proportions this evening with my third cocktail of the day, it appears, for us anyway, little has changed.

Cascais beach

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