Portugal short roadtrip - November 2018
It had been a while since I took a flight so I decided to travel light and since I still work in aviation I could park my car for free at Brucargo and take one of the many free shuttles to Brussels Airport, I checked in on the automatic machines and passed security directly after so I had about an hour and a half to relax before boarding. TAP service at the boarding gate and onboard was better than I expected since it was the first time for me to fly TAP, once in the air the stewardesses passed around a small lunch, drink and afterwards a coffee or tea. The flight was a bit delayed but overall all went well. Lisbon airport proved a bit of a challenge as the automatic passport gates seemed not be working correctly and the signs are not clear, many people took the wrong way at this airport. Finally at the exit I went to the Budget desk to collect the car and a little while later I was on my way with a Renault Clio latest model full option (a tip for travellers: never pay extra for a GPS in a rental car as you can always use maps.me on your smartphone as it doesn't require any connection and most rental cars have standard GPS so you actually get a GPS for free these days). Once on the road I went to the riverbanks of Lisbon to see the classic ship Funchal laid up at a small pier near the main road. Next I went to explore the rest of the riverside to see some of the regular cruise ships in port. Once darkness fell I crossed river to go to Setubal where I had reserved my hotel, the convenient thing about the hotel is that there is also a restaurant that offers 24h service so I didn't need to go look for restaurant.
Breakfast in the hotel was pretty good and I left my hotel for a long drive North for an assignment that took me untill noon to complete. My first stop on the way back South was at the Penedo Da Saudade lighthouse that's located on top of some spectacular cliffs. Next stop I decided to check out the Cabo Carvoeiro lighthouse, located on equally spectacular cliffs. My last stop I saved for the Cabo Da Roca lighthouse where I decided to stay until dark for some evening shots before going back to the hotel, because I had a long drive today I decided to stay in the hotel again for dinner.
Today I dedicated to Lisbon so after breakfast I went to an underground parkinglot to get rid of the car for the day so I could explore the city on foot. Lisbon is a bright city with lots of hidden streets and great views, when you explore Lisbon of foot you better be in good condition as the city is located on several hills so it may go up and down a lot and sometimes very steep as well, luckily the city has a solution for this, the iconic classic and modern trams run all over the city to bring you from any point to any other point in Lisbon. The central tourist attractions are all within walking distance and from the top of the hills you have a good view on the riverside where I saw a few cruise ships again. After exploring central Lisbon I got back on the road for a view of the coast away from the city so I stopped at the famous "Torre De Belem" to view this great monument and the "Padrão dos Descobrimentos", from here I had a good view on the "Ponte 25 de Abril" as well. By now I had enough of the busy tourist spots and decided to visit Cabo Espichel lighthouse where I was completely alone to explore the site and after a quick stop at the Forte Do Cavalo lighthouse and fort I went to Outao where I had a pretty good view on the local lighthouse from a fishing spot at the coast, this was also perfect for some evening shots. By the time I had taken my shots it was getting dark and I was hungry so I went to Setubal for dinner in a local restaurant before going to bed.
My last day of this trip started with breakfast at the hotel again and packing up for another short roadtrip, I started at the Guia lighthouse, next was the Santa Marta lighthouse and 3rd was the Sao Juliao Da Barra lighthouse. I still had time left so I went back to central Lisbon for some photos of the waterside and a small lunch, just before leaving I was able to catch the cruise ship Saga Pearl II leving port in the sunset. I went back to the airport and after I returned the car I took the time to explore the airport a bit and have dinner before boading my TAP flight back to Brussels.