Friday, May 26, 2017

Foz Da Sizandro

So after Cabo da Roca we drove further north, stopping in Ericeira, the European Surf City, to see whether there really are two girls for every boy. There weren't, so, after provisioning at the Continente, we drove further north to the beach at Foz da Sizandro and its aire de camping-cars. The beach runs maybe a couple miles between the cliffs, but it's no swimming beach. Even on a very calm late spring day, the surf is pretty impressive here, at least to this land-lubber.
The aire, us on the far right, closer to land in case of tsunami;
a big dune separates the aire from the beach; fortunately

Path along the cliffs to the south of us

Fishing the big waters

Next morning, surfing class arrives (top of dune)

Out for an afternoon walk

Alas, at high tide, which is now, the waves actually breach
the dune; alarmingly; and cover the nice board walk; thus


These puppies are in the 8-10 foot range, in my humble

Ever alert for sneaker waves...

Cabo Da Roca

Cabo da Roca ("cape of rock") is mainland Europe's western-most point (not Sagres), and having been to Nordkapp some years ago (see, I was determined to see its western counterpart. We've probably been to the southern-most, whatever it is, and currently have no interest in going further east than we have already been (Ukraine). Whatever. I was determined, Vicki, looking at the map, was reluctant, but we proceeded on, despite the narrow twisting unimproved roads and Garmina's telling us repeatedly to turn left (or right) onto "unpaved road." A nice Portuguese couple offered us encouragement and direction, and, finally, we got there. On pavement, too.
En route; the Cape is a cliff and up high

Lots of bits have already fallen off

The view, pretty nice

The actual rock

More cliff bits

Neat place


Our next destination was Sintra, a 3-star site of royal palaces and gardens, etc., that everyone raves about. Our Sintra experience did not start well, missing a turn and the official RV parking lot. We parked elsewhere and got to experience a 2k hilly trudge to the main palace and environs. The place was overrun with tourists and tour buses and touristical tuk-tuks and trinket shoppes. We peeked in at the palace gift shoppe, and, upon examination and reflection, decided we'd leave royal Sintra for another visit. Maybe another life-time. We nonetheless plodded the crowded alleys and further shoppes, and then had a more or less peaceful walk back, through one of the gardens, to the parking lot and our camper. We proceeded on.
One of the palaces, the one whose gift shoppe we toured

Checking out what we were considering, en video


OK, if not jaded, we were a bit tired

Panning around, looking up at the ancient Moorish castle way
up there in the heights

More panning

More castle

Based on Cinderella's castle
The town

Would you believe Sintra has not one, 

Not two, but three Byron restaurants? He wrote of the place as
"Eden"; one wonders what he'd make of it now; would he have
liked tapas or queijos? Super Bock?

We stopped of course at Piriquita's for a pastry fix

Obviously wearing Kevlar pants

The park was impressive, and nearly deserted

Royal tennis courts?

Big beauty

Magnolias in bloom

Pasteis De Belem

Our last stop in Lisbon was at the Pasteis de Belem, braving the mob there and ordering another overdose of the addictive pastels de nata.

Funny, I think we ate the pastels before I could
get a picture of them

Bosch's Temptations Of St. Anthony

There is no record of how it got to Portugal, but there it is, displayed in a room that features a Cranach as well as a Durer. Late 15th/early 16th. The whole world invaded by sin. He died before the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, the century-plus of horrendous wars of religion. Sensing trouble, perhaps, he had all his works in progress and unsold works destroyed after his death. So I have read.
First, the grisailles

Whole triptych, about the same size as Garden of Earthly Delights



Nice signature


And now for some details; it's always in the details with Bosch

Personal favorite; never mind the sexual imagery

St. Anthony himself, looking more perplexed than