The Portugal Diaries #11

As mentioned last time, we had a trip inland pencilled in for the Wednesday of the first week of July. A good friend of ours from Wales and his fiancée were holidaying in Lisbon and he had asked if we could meet up as we haven’t seen him for a few years. We also would be meeting his fiancée for the first time, so BattleDad found a place that was roughly half way for us and we planned our meet up.

Little did I know that the reason BattleDad chose it was because there is an amazing castle in the town. We left our place and headed past Castro Marim towards Beja, taking the mountain roads inland. We passed through a town called Mertola, which also hosts a castle on a hill. We plan to visit that as it’s only an hour from us.

After almost 2 hours on the road we arrived in Beja and found the castle. I honestly did not associate castles with Portugal but you can imagine my delight that we managed not one, but two dragon hunts within days of each other.

my sunday photo
Beja Castle
my sunday photo
Beja Castle

M and P were running a little late so we walked along the outer walls and admired how beautiful the castle looked. Once our friends had arrived we went into the castle to explore and hunt out the dragon lurking within.

be in the picture
Selfie with my boy at Beja Castle

After an hour, we found a café for a sit down and catch up with toasties and a coffee. I have to say I’m a big fan of toasties since moving to Portugal. They aren’t afraid of using butter and the bread they use is really good. Unfortunately, we couldn’t spend the afternoon with M and P as BattleDad had to get back for a conference call at 3pm but we thoroughly enjoyed our catch up and were so grateful they took time out from their holiday to come see us.

We decided to head back to Tavira via the main motorway and we got a nasty surprise on our way home. We came across a set of tolls not far from Beja and I mistakenly thought we could use the fast lane. I’ve set up an online account for our tolls along the A22, the main motorway that runs along the South of Portugal. But alas, these electronic tolls are different to those on the other motorways.

There are actually 3 different types of tolls and unless you have a tag, which you can only get for Portuguese plated cars, you have to get a ticket and present it at the other end. We didn’t have a ticket and as a result ended up paying a fine of over €100 for a trip that should have cost less than €10. A costly lesson to learn! I’m just glad we had enough on us to pay.

On our way home we did pass the exit for Silves which my Dad reliably informs us has another castle. I really am surprised at how many castles there are in Portugal and how amazing they look. I had been wondering whether we would be able to continue our dragon hunting adventures but thankfully we can.

Later that week we spent yet another Friday evening at the beach. Someone fell asleep on the way there and woke up to discover himself at the beach. He and BattleDad had a whale of a time jumping waves and running away from them.

living arrows
Jumping the waves on Manta Rota beach

It’s an absolute joy to be able to nip to the beach of an evening and see the joy in our son’s face as he plays in the sand and sea, which is warm by the way. It makes us happy to know our decision to leave the UK for a life in the sun is paying off. We’re starting to settle in and find out feet but we’ve a while to go before I think it’ll truly feel like home. But so far so good.

Next time I tell you of more blogger mail that has winged its way to us here in Portugal!

To be continued…

Cath x

Read more about our Portugal Adventures at Portugal Diaries.

Be In The Picture 7

I’m falling behind with getting this post done at the beginning of each month but it’s been a busy one and we are getting ready for our forthcoming USA road-trip, which I mentioned in my Holiday Diaries for this year. But, as the saying goes, better late than never. I am glad I am managing to keep up with this series as it ensures I try to get in front of the camera during the month. And BattleKid will have lots of pictures of his mum to look back on in years to come.

We started off the month by exploring a nearby castle at Castro Marim. I was put in the stocks for taking too many pictures and not doing enough dragon hunting. I got a kiss though!

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Getting a kiss while in the stocks at Castro Marim Castle
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Holding tight to the Castro Marim dragon

The same week we met friends of ours from Wales in a town called Beja in Central Portugal and as it had a castle, we did a bit of dragon hunting there. While we waited for them, I sneaked a picture of the boy and I.

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This month also saw my nephew pop over for a visit and we did a few silly snaps after getting some promo pictures for our collaborative YouTube Videos on both mine and Nico’s channels. BattleKid wanted to get in on the action so we let him.

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BattleKid getting in on the action!

We also went to Ayamonte with Nico, and BattleKid didn’t want to play ball on the selfie front so I thought bugger it and pulled a silly face, as you do!

be in the picture

Other than that we’ve just been crafting, going for dinner, enjoying some early morning cuddles and time on the decking while it’s still cool enough.

be in the picture be in the picture be in the picture be in the picture

If you didn’t catch June’s Be in the Picture post, why not check it out. Next month’s post will definitely be late as we will be in North West America on our road trip but I am hoping both August’s and September’s posts will have some good pictures to share.

Initiated by Kerry of Kerry Louise Norris and Alana of Baby Holiday, Be in the Picture encourages us to get in front of the camera instead of always being behind it. I’m guilty of this and by joining in with Be in the Picture, it ensures BattleKid will have pictures of me as well of himself when he grows up.

29/52 My Sunday Photo: 16/07/2017

The week before last we met some friends of ours from the UK in mid-Portugal. They were holidaying in Lisbon and we hadn’t seen them in quite a long time. Seeing as we were both in the country we found a halfway point and met for lunch.
It just so happened that the town of Beja, our meeting point, also had an amazing castle in it which we explored briefly before lunch. I am amazed at how many castles are in Portugal. They’re just something I didn’t associate with it.
my sunday photo
my sunday photo my sunday photo my sunday photo
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Living Arrows 28/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

Kahlil Gibran

In the last week we have the pleasure of visiting not one but two castles here in Portugal. I had no idea there were so many in Portugal, let alone within two hours of us.

The first we visited was in a town 20 minutes from us called Castro Marim. Castro Marim has two fort-type castles on opposite hills, one which is open to the public and one which isn’t. We had a lovely time wandering around, looking for dragons of course, and imagining what it was like to live there hundreds of years ago.

my sunday photo
Just taking a break from dragon hunting

We also visited a castle in a town called Beja which is 2 hours drive from us. We were meeting up with friends from Wales who were in Lisbon on holiday and who kindly offered to meet halfway. It was so good seeing M and his new fiancee P, who is lovely, and we spent a lovely hour wandering around the castle, hunting for dragons, before having a bite to eat and a coffee. I was blown away by this castle. And guess what? We passed another one in a town called Mertola which we are going to return to!

Beja Castle
Standing in the courtyard of Beja Castle

We also spent last Friday evening at the beach after BattleDad finished work. I still can’t quite believe that this is our life now; popping to the beach after work on Friday while it’s still hot is still something dreams are made of.

living arrows
Jumping the waves on Manta Rota beach

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