Continuing on with a quick synopsis of our other day trips:
Beleal Island & Peniche - this area has some very interesting geological features which take the already gorgeous coastline up a notch or two. Baleal Island is also interesting because you drive over a sandy causeway to get there.
Buddha Eden Gardens in Quinta dos Loridos - 35 acres with thousands of sculptures and not just of Buddhas. The gardens were created in response to the Taliban's destruction of the 6th Century cultural treasure, the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afganistan.
A second trip to Nazeré on a super windy day.
Santarém - overlooking the Tejo (Tagus) river and the Ribatejo plains, this is one of the oldest cities in central Portugal. Occupied by the Romans, the Visagoths and the Moors until 1147 when Portugal's first King, Alfoso Henrique, re-captured it.
Grutas (Caves) de Mira de Aire - an extensive cave network in the limestone hills of the Serra de Aire. Some of the galleries were enormous, I just wish they were easier to photograph!
We also got in touch with a Realtor in São Martinho do Porto, because we wanted to start getting an idea of what the different types of homes in a typical beach would cost. We saw a couple of places that had stunning views which checked some (but not all) of our boxes, but the reality is that we have a lot more exploring to do before making any decisions.
So all in all, we are having the time of our lives! We feel almost completely care-free, we have very few responsibilities and most days we are just living in the moment. We are enjoying all our travels and explorations and not putting any pressure on ourselves about whether we will stay in Portugal permanently. One thing that we absolutely love about Portugal is the very relaxed vibe that permeates the culture, it is a very chill place. It would be great to share that feeling and all these wonderful experiences with others. We have our accommodation booked out through February of next year, so we know where we will be, that certainly makes it easier for planning purposes. So think about coming over for a visit.
African Sculpture are - Buddha Eden Garden
Replication of the Terracotta Warriors - Buddha Eden Garden
So many Buddha's!
Nazaré Praia de Norte Surf - not record breaking, but the biggest we have ever seen
Nazaré Praia de Norte
Praia da Nazaré on a windy day
Ancient Underground River - Caves of Grutas (Caves) de Mira de Aire
The view from the condo that we did not buy