Saturday, 29 November 2008

Portugal: Sines

From Toledo, we travelled back to Madrid, and thence overnight to Lisbon. Coming off the train (still swaying to the motion) Thomas met us - after a somewhat anxious wait - with a hire car; and we were soon on our way Southwards across the Vasco da Gama Bridge (the longest in Europe) in the warm Portuguese sunshine.

He had selected Sines for our out of town experience - a couple of hours away from Lisbon. The road was empty, as was the coastline when we arrived nearby. We walked along the deserted beach: I resisted Thomas's urging to me to swim, even when he pointed out an area of specially warm water - just by a power station outlet.

Sines boasts a world music festival - in the Summer - and a magnificent Centro Cultural Emmerico Nunes: Caroline disliked this building intensely, while I was rather impressed. It did look odd, though, stuck in between the closely-packed, small-scale white houses and shops of the little town centre. Just further South along the coast is the rather more charming Porto Covo: we visited it the next day (in even warmer sunshine).

Meanwhile, in Sines we ate our best-yet fresh fish, grilled, sitting outside the little restaurant A Castello, near to the birthplace of the said Vasco da Gama whose statue towers over the harbour.

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