I usually spend at least a week in Portugal visiting some of my family and going to the beach in the central region of the country. This year, however, I only spent a long weekend in Lisbon, so I was not expecting to do any of these two things: see any of my family and go to the beach. So it was a very pleasant surprise when I ended up doing both.
On Saturday, I met with one of my aunts and a cousin who live in the extended region of Lisbon. I was treated to a homemade lunch (my aunt is one of the best cooks I know), then a short expedition to a beach in Ericeira followed by a visit to Mafra and ending with a delicious dinner (frango no churrasco, barbecued chicken like I only find in Portugal).
We stopped at a place called Aldeia do Sobreiro on the way. It is a place dedicated to ceramics where you can find a small miniature reproductions of a mill and different rooms showing how people used to live in the past. I couldn't resist making a very quick sketch there, the only one of the day, as I didn't want to bore my family.
On Sunday I met with one of my co-workers who was in Lisbon with a friend for the weekend as well and we went to the beach in Carcavelos. The tide was high, so the beach was very narrow and people were almost lying on top of each other. Not my favourite type of beach, but I was so happy to be able to actually go into the ocean that I did not care at all.
Carcavelos is located on the Atlantic coast, not far from where the Tagus river ends, so the water was cold, but fairly quiet, quite different from the beaches I am used to around Figueira da Foz, where the waves can be very strong and the water's temperature a bit colder.
It was amazing to be able to bathe and I had fun seeing my friends getting in the chilly water. The temperature can be challenging when you are not used to the Atlantic at all, but once you are inside it is perfect.
I had time to make a quick sketch while my bikini was drying. The lady on my left offered me the perfect framing. When I first came out of the zone, I noticed that I had gathered a few admirers, her included. Sketching is always a great icebreaker.
We ended the day at a tiny restaurant around Chiado with a lovely bottle of vinho verde.
I'm already looking forward to my next visit.