Day Fifteen (Last): Birthday Trip in Post (or Still?) Pandemic Time

I had ambitious plans for the last day in Portugal. Besides driving from Algarve to Lisbon (4 hours) and having nice evening and supper there, I wanted to hike to the peak of Picota near the town of Monchique. Monchique is primarily known for hot sulfur springs (with baths and health spas) situated 6 kilometres south in ‘Caldas de Monchique’ (Spring of Monchique). Unfortunately, they were closed because of COVID. Other than hot springs, people are coming to this area to buy scissor chairs made from chestnut wood, black pork and black pork ham and sausages. Another local specialty is medronho, a hard liquor made from distilled medronho berries (Arbutus/Strawberry Tree). Neither of these products interested me. But apparently the views from either peak of Foia or Picota were very impressive. The difference between two is that you can drive to Foia (easier, but many more people), but you have to hike to Picota which was my choice. With estimated four hours of the roundtrip, it was a bit tight but doable. At the beginning the trail was easy and well visible. In fact, it made me think of ancient Roman roads.

The air was full of eucalyptus aroma, the birds sang, and I marched with great pleasure. And then…somehow I got lost. Long story short, I never made it to Picota, but I found the remains of the old village.

… and decided that this will be the spot for my last lunch picnic in Portugal

The view was more than satisfactory.

And then back to the car and to Lisbon. Last night instead of Alfama, I stayed in the neighborhood called Graca. Lisbon is spread over seven hills and Graca is situated on the highest of them. Hence, this was the view from my apartment

And then nice “sunset walk” before dinner

The “last supper” was in the restaurant called Santa Rita. It does not look like anything special, but it is very popular with students and the food is outstanding

And this was the end of my Birthday Trip in Post (I hope) Pandemic Time. I love Portugal and will be back.

One thought on “Day Fifteen (Last): Birthday Trip in Post (or Still?) Pandemic Time

  1. Judging by your photos these past two weeks, several octopi donated all their legs for your dinners! Hadn’t realized that Portugal was as big on that dish as Greece, but maybe even moreso! Wishing you safe travels home.


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