Saturday, March 28, 2009


When Joshua and I returned to our hotel tonight, we retrieved an email message from my parents, who had arrived in Portugal very early this morning.

My parents will send an email message every night while they are away, letting everyone know they made it through the day safely.

Since Portugal is six hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time and seven hours ahead of Central Daylight Time, we will all receive the daily email message no later than late afternoon our time.

My parents’ plane landed in Lisbon just after 7:00 a.m. local time this morning. They proceeded through customs in no time at all, retrieved their luggage, were picked up and transported to Estoril, and were checked into their hotel and settled into their room, all by 9:15 a.m.

My parents are very pleased with the hotel. It is a modern high-rise hotel situated on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Their room has a balcony, and the views are marvelous.

This view is to the left.

And this view is to the right.

There are no views like those in Minneapolis!

My parents loved the views so much that they stayed in their room until Noon, enjoying the sublime panorama, ordering breakfast, freshening up and taking a catnap.

They walked around Estoril all afternoon, as today was a free day for all participants in the guided tour.

Estoril is primarily a resort town. Its beaches and golf courses and tennis courts are the primary attractions for tourists. Estoril’s chief claim to fame is that the town was once home to numerous members of royalty—titled nobles from all over Europe came to Estoril to sit out World War II in neutral Portugal.

There is very little to see and very little to do in Estoril, but we all had researched the town in advance, selecting a few interesting features of the town and mapping out a route for my parents to take as they wandered through the various parts of the town.

They walked a good portion of the beach.

They walked around the town, seeing what appeared to be an old castle but which in fact is a 19th-Century recreation.

They saw some interesting villas.

And they encountered other interesting buildings, too.

One of the interesting buildings was the Estoril Post Office, erected in 1942. It is the earliest significant example of modernist architecture in Portugal.

They visited two small churches, neither remarkable, which are supposed to be the only notable churches in Estoril and the adjacent town of Oeiras.

One was The Church Of Saint Anthony Of Estoril (“Igreja Santo Antonio Do Estoril”).

The other was The Parish Church Of Oeiras (“Igreja Matriz”).

They visited the gardens of The Palace Of The Marquis Of Pombal, but they did not take the guided tour of the palace’s interior.

After exploring Estoril all afternoon, they returned to the hotel in time for a group dinner for all persons participating in the guided tour. After dinner, they turned in early.

Tomorrow the guided tour will begin in earnest. Tour participants will visit Sintra and Cascais, and undertake an escorted visit to The Mafra National Palace.

No comments:

Post a Comment