After 3 ½ weeks in Lagos we headed three hours north to Cascais - a town located in the Lisbon District - just 30km west of the center of Lisbon. Known as the jewel of the Portuguese Riviera, Cascais has a population of 215,000 residents.
Cascais, Portugal was a relatively obscure fishing and farming village until the late 1800’s when King Luis I of Portugal and the royal family started spending their summers here. The Portuguese nobility soon followed and, before long, they had established a summer community with palaces, mansions, theaters, and hotels. Cascais grew quickly over the years and became the playground for aristocrats from all over the world.
You may be asking the question . . . “Why are Simcha and Carla checking out this town? . . . It doesn’t really seem to be aligned with who they are. “Quite true, but in fairness, it’s one of those places in Portugal with a strong expat population so we thought it was worth a look. It turns out that we really loved the beauty of this town. It’s quite stunning, very safe, has excellent food, a fantastic climate, and a strong expat community. But, in the end, it simply wasn’t our cup of tea. And quite frankly, even if it was . . . it would be out of our price range considering the type of lifestyle we want.
So, after five days in Cascais, we took the red eye out of Lisbon and are now in Chania, Greece for the next two weeks. After Chania, we will round out our 2-month visit in Greece with Naxos, Corfu, and Athens. Already, being in Greece for only three days has helped us gain clarity on why we felt compelled to cut our Portugal trip short by 2 months. As soon as we set foot in the town of Chania, we felt connected - the beauty, the charm, the history - it’s all here in spades. We truly wanted to find that in Portugal (and we tried), but if we’re completely honest, we just didn’t connect with Portugal like we wanted to. We are curious now to see what lies ahead for us here in Greece!