Today I’m going to take you to the End of the World. Oh, and we’re going to Lisbon as well. Both spots being in Portugal, of course.
What? You didn’t know that this cape in western Portugal is the End of the World? Well, it was before the end of the 15th Century! Sailors were admonished to stray not far beyond Cabo da Roca, for beyond that point, “. . . there be dragons.” Cabo da Roca is the westernmost extension of continental Europe, extending further west than even most of the British Isles. Only the western edge of Ireland extends farther into the Atlantic than Cabo da Roca.
Ursula and I had been to Lisbon twice previously, thus once again we opted to head out from beyond the MS Ryndam’s latest port of call. So, planning far in advance of our initial sail date, Ursula put together via online a group of fellow passengers for a tour that would take us quickly through Lisbon and beyond to Sintra and Cabo da Roca. We’ll look at Sintra on Wednesday, and enjoy my favorite photos of all three locations on Fun Photo Friday.
But first a plug for our very gracious and fun tour guide — Mr. Rodrigo Bastos of We Hate Tourism Tours. After putting together online our little group, Ursula contacted We Hate Tourism. They put us with one of the most charming guides we had the pleasure of meeting on our month-long cruise, Rodrigo Bastos whom you see in the picture above.
We Hate Tourism is as unconventional as its name: The guides don’t dress up in coats and ties. The vehicles are reliable, but they’re certainly not new. The chatter between the guide and the guided is not only informative, but also informal and filled with lighthearted fun. Rodrigo gave us a whirlwind tour of Lisbon, then proceeded into the Portuguese countryside, but before leaving Lisbon behind we stopped for some dramatic sights along the way.
Then it was off to Sintra first (more on that Wednesday), followed by Cabo da Roca. If you’ve been following our progress during this voyage then you know that we had exceptional weather throughout. The only overcast day we had prior to arriving to Lisbon was in on the morning we arrived to Cadiz and the first part of our trip from there into Seville. Unfortunately our luck was way past its expiration date, and our expedition through Lisbon and beyond was beneath a solid overcast the entire day. Still, I’m not complaining. We were way overdue for some weather, and I managed to compensate for the skies by highlighting points of interest that were not dependent upon a cerulean background.
At Cabo da Roca we strolled along the high cliffs overlooking the Atlantic (a photo of which I’m saving for Fun Photo Friday). Arriving back at the van, Rodrigo surprised us with a charming picnic lunch complete with wine service.
It was a delightful meal that included Portuguese cheeses and meats, bright red fully ripened tomatoes, fresh bread with which to make sandwiches, Portuguese olives, and even potato chips (we were all American, after all). One trick Rodrigo showed us was to slice the bread, layer in some cheeses and meats, carefully place on top of those layers a small tomato or two, put into place the top slice of bread, and then squeeze the sandwich together to pop the tomato and let its juices act as a condiment. It was quite a novelty that worked very well.