Thursday, December 10, 2015

Portugal Trip: The Beach

In the fall of 2008 we brought our kids to the beach for the first time, in Oregon, and I wrote about how we are not really "beach people."  However, in the interceding years, I believe we've come around.

Spain finally sealed the deal - the Ts are now beach people.  Sure, the sand is still a pain and gets everywhere, but I think it also helps that the kids are older can can manage that better. The grown-ups don't even really have to get very sandy anymore. We've really grown to love the simple yet unending possibilities of the beach for vacation entertainment. Send the kids down to the water to stick their toes in, climb around on rocks, dig in the sand, find interesting objects, or even just watch the waves, and you've got yourselves hours of free and gorgeous entertainment, even when the weather and water is chilly. This is much more our speed than an amusement park or other form of manufactured fun.

Like in Spain, in Portugal we once again had a long stretch of boardwalk and beach to explore.  The actual water was not as calm or inviting as the Mediterranean sea, and this was was mid-fall versus late spring, but the large rocks and boulders on these northern Portugal beaches were especially good fun. 

And, even with hit-and-miss weather throughout the week, most days we found a decent stretch of time to venture down to the water in between sight-seeing excursions.  The beach, we've found, is such a great way to break up the sightseeing part of traveling for the kids.  Beach time bribes work wonders.

On one morning we drove down the coast 20 minutes to Capela do Senhor da Pedra, a chapel that's just about as on-the-beach as on-the-beach can be without being in the ocean.

We didn't even check the tide tables; we just hoped for the best.  We were lucky and could walk up to and inside the chapel, which is not possible at high tide. 
intimidating walk around the back
One thing we missed on our Spain trip, and something as born-and-raised-United-States-West-Coasters that we take for granted on a visit to the beach, is the sun setting over the ocean. After facing evening clouds each night of this trip, we finally got our ocean sunset on the last night.

More Portugal post coming, slowly but surely.

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