As we entered the estuary of the Douro, the sun had just set.
“Little by little, the contours of the shoreline were lit up as we arrived into the heart of the city, at the foot of the impressive Dom Luís I Bridge, constructed by Gustave Eiffel.
“It was now night, but the numerous lights of the city allowed us to calmly navigate the river. The banks were crowded with tens of river cruise boats and traditional boats that once served to transport wine from the Alto Douro to the caves along the left bank of Porto.
“After several minutes of looking, we found a quay that was several metres high. We cautiously approached, using flashlights to search for any possible mooring points. A ladder was spotted, but we had to be very fast, as the current of the Douro was pushing us at three knots!
“The children had already fallen asleep some time ago. We took advantage of this to climb the ladder and admire the unique perspective from the heart of this effervescent city that seemed to truly come alive at night. We stayed there a moment, just admiring the spectacle.
“We spent four days in Porto, wandering through the streets, visiting the city and hanging out. There were so many things to see and taste in the numerous wine caves. We were enthralled by the atmosphere of this fantastic city!”
Due to a lack of wind, we took advantage of the pause to stop and visit Nazaré. This attractive fishing village is also world-renowned because it is here that the highest wave in the world was recorded, at 30 metres high. This can be explained by the presence of an underwater canyon that modifies the behaviour and structure of the waves. Some are even crazy enough to surf here!
“We visited the lighthouse located on the point, in which an exposition explained this phenomenon and included numerous photos, films and surfboards for all those who love surfing.”
This is it! We have finally arrived in Lisbon. We had the choice of four marinas. We avoided the one in the centre, which is located just under the 25 de Abril Bridge. The noise there is deafening – we truly felt like we were in a hive – and the planes were coming in to land in Lisbon at a crazy pace, one after another. Moreover, it was surprising to see these long-distance carriers fly over the city at such a low altitude.
“So we preferred to dock just a bit further in the Park of Nations Marina, or ‘Marina Parque de Nacoes.’
“To get around the capital, we took all forms of transportation, to the great joy of our children: buses, the metro, trams, taxis, escalators…
“Here, we thoroughly enjoyed the local specialties: ‘pastel de nata,’ which are little custard tartlets in a flaky shell, as well as ‘Ginjinha,’ a black cherry liqueur.
“The temperatures seriously began to climb as we visited the city, wandering through the narrow streets of the centre, which were a bit too crowded. The tourist is stopped at each street corner.”
For our next update, the crew of the Zanzibar will be headed for southern Portugal…