May 20, 2019


French schools have a brilliant vacation schedule; it boils down to 6 weeks on, 2 weeks off. Those 2-week periods (in October, December, February, April) are lucky chances to rove the continent with the girls. We like to randomly choose new places. Portugal was our choice this round and we wanted to go to the southern coast for its beaches.

We pulled out a map and pointed to the southwestern-most tip of the country and chose Sagres as our home base. Such a fortunate accident. We liked everything we visited, but some parts of the southern coast of Portugal are too built-up. Sagres is wild. Hardly built at all. Almost like surfer shacks and an ice cream and pizza joint. Very charming. Since Sagres is both ocean and gulf-facing, the beaches on every side of the town feel like different dominions. Sharp, steep cliffs and rough water on one side and glassy, turquoise sea on the other. End of April, but tranquil early summer air.

Xavier got stuck in New York early in the week and it meant that I was on my own to travel with the girls to Portugal and he would meet us there. At first, I will admit, I was slightly daunted. Romy is pretty manageable at this point, but she's conserved her wild side, which, when stored, can come out strong. After our initial flight to Lisbon, we still had a three-hour drive to get to Sagres. It was a straight shot and turned out to be a lot of fun and Romy behaved. At some point we crossed an enormous bridge. Marguerite said to the girls, "Look up! This bridge is incredible!" Colette responded, "Yes, but is it secure?!"

Praia do Beliche, Sagres

Praia da Mareta, Sagres

Praia do Martinhal, Sagres

Marguerite and Colette decided to erect 100 sandcastle towers. They kept on and got there.

We also visited more renowned sections of the Algarve. Further east from Sagres sits Lagos and its beach, Praia Dona Ana. Honestly, it was magnificent, but it is an example of what happens when an incredible stretch of nature gets overrun by people and concrete. Right along the water remained spotless and the girls jumped endlessly in the waves.

The streets and alleys of Lagos smelled of wonder. I watched the girls together, a little band of ladies, running everywhere, free.
Moments where we are sort of mashed together in time and place grant a level of affinity that everyday life can hampers. We caught little reflections and all smiled together as we listened.


“Which is longer, day or night?”
"I love my hands. They are just the right size.”

and Romy:

"Is Tuesday vendredi"


Julie said...

But is it secure??

arjun said...

Seems like Portugal is good for travel .. i will plan..

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