We did a road trip on Friday that I had found outlined in an article in a British newspaper. It would take us right to the tip of Portugal. The trip didn’t turn out just as the travel writer had described it. First we tried to find the ruins of a fort near the village of Figueira. Following some signs in the village only led us to a narrow path that obviously was not meant for cars. We parked the car and followed the path all the way to the beach.
It was lovely and warm, the almond trees were blossoming and humming with bees. We had to do a little stone hopping across a stream, we passed old farm houses and a vineyard where they sold traditional wine. At the beach way up on the top of a cliff we did see the ruins of what might have been a fort but the walls were covered in graffiti. The walk and not the destination had definitely been the highlight.
In Raposeira we tried to visit our Lady of Guadalupe Church which the article said was where Portugal’s famous Prince Henry went to pray. Henry is the guy who got the explorers of Portugal off to sea discovering the rest of the world. However when we arrived at noon the doors to the chapel were closed and when I knocked a guy poked his head out of a building nearby and said it was lunchtime so the chapel wouldn’t be open for the next hour. We contented ourselves with taking a photo of a mural we found of Henry on the side of a house on a street in Raposeira.
The itinerary we were following said that in Sagres we were to check out another fort where the famous Henry operated a school for navigators. We could see two forts on the horizon one that looked like a fake tourist attraction and another that looked more authentic. We opted for the more authentic one. Turns out Fort Beliche had nothing at all to do with Prince Henry and the door was locked so you couldn’t go inside. But Rudy took a nice photo of us beside the castle walls.
The last stop on our road trip was the St. Vincent Lighthouse which stands at the most southwesterly point of Portugal. Of course it was closed for the season too! It was extremely cold and windy on the point but we gamely posed for some photos anyway. There was a plaque at the point in memory of a young man from Germany who fell to his death there in 2001. It warned visitors to be careful.
Now we were ready to head home. Even though we had been met with more than a few closed doors, had been battered by the wind and cold, and had not found the castles we were looking for, you can tell by Dave and Rudy’s faces they’d still had a good time. Guess I need to start planning another road trip.
You can read about the first part of this road trip here.