Before I got to Lisbon, I had no idea there were so many day trips possible from the enigmatic city. If I did I probably would have stayed for weeks (though I would have done that anyway had I been able to).
Keen for some of that famous Portuguese beach action, Laura, Shanti and I caught the train about an hour north up the coast to the beach side town of Cascais.
Cascais is a delightfully cute beach town, lined with beaches of fluffy white sand, adorable Mediterranean tiled streets, delicious restaurants and just enough gelato shops to quench any thirst.
As well as an art gallery and a harbour of dreamy European sail boats, you can meander your way up the coast, past the light house and to an outlook (which I was the famous cave system that you see in all the Portugal pics, but that’s in Lagos!).
It also bizarrely has a castle right at the waters edge with its own little beach, a half dead cactus garden and a bunch of chooks that put the Nandos in Portuguese chicken.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I had one of the best meals of my trip/life in Cascais. Polvo Vadio is a little hole in the wall in the back streets of Cascais, with a splattering of seating. I was not only captivated by the eye-catching Kraken artwork, but also the thought of eating fresh local sea food right by the sea.
Being a party of three (cue the theme music), we waiting about an hour for a table and then were almost overwhelmed by the short but delicious menu. Eventually we chose the octopus rice, fried octopus (cause calamari derrr), grilled octopus on a bed of mashed potato and chorizo, boiled greens and a salad for the health.
How much is too much octopus? The limit does not exist.
I’ve never eaten so much delicious octopi before and I probably won’t again. I respect and thank my eight tentacled friends even more now for their gift to the world.
The day was finished with a short bake on the beach and a somewhat sombre train ride back to town for our final meal together. Next time, I’ll stay in Cascais (and Portugal) for many moons more.