I’m sure many of you would agree that road tripping is one of the finest ways of traveling. So when I recently hit Portugal’s road to shoot a story for Volkswagen Magazine – hence getting an excuse to escape a rainy and wintery Berlin – I knew I’d be in for a treat. Bernhard Huber, a talented and hilarious photographer from Munich, met me in Lisbon and took care of getting us out of the city while I was far too busy complaining about how early it was! A 7am start? Seriously? And we’re still supposed to look all fresh faced and happy on the photos!? Believe it or not, after 30 minutes of shouting to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, we certainly did. So here’s a collection of little shots I took in between doing the real story, which is soon to be published, and of some pit stop highlights. Oh Portugal, you and your Pasteis de Natas (I had eaten three of them ten minutes after arriving at the airport!) are doing crazy things to my heart!
Lisbon – Cabo da Roca – Azenhas do Mar – Colares – Mafra – Peniche – Obidos – Foz de Arelho – Nazare
We drove through Sintra, a leafy national park with lots of hills and bends, stopped by the Cabo da Roca lighthouse (which is also Europe’s most western point!) and then marveled at Colares, a little town built on rocks. Mafra had a mindblowing church which we discovered from the motorway by chance and then took one hour to find it, but oh the dramatic baroque architecture was so worth it. The surfers’ beach in Peniche is one of a kind (and not the only one we saw) and the medieval town Obidos may well be famous for its coastal architecture (namely, white old buildings). But instead of surfing, we preferred stuffing our stomach with cake, cake, and more cake. Priorities. The highlight of this 48-hour trip has undoubtedly been watching the sun set at Nazare, a legendary spot for surfers, photographers, and anyone who loves a dramatic coastal line and can’t wait for summer…
Caldas da Rainha
The garden and park around Caldas da Rainha is spooky to say the least. There must be a wide array of ghosts from the past spooking around the former hospital which was built in 1485 – and now looks like the ideal setting for a Stephen King movie. If you’re into art, make sure to stop by the Museum Malhoa which features naturalistic art by Jose…, you guessed it, Malhoa.
Blast from the past: Obidos
The medieval village Obidos is a very popular tourist destination, but it’s also really pretty so I’ll make an exception… You’ll find little stores with beautiful pottery, tailored fashion, flowers and anything else that would serve as a perfect souvenir. The best kind of souvenir that we couldn’t take with us though – and I’ve already mentioned it above – were the tartes at the Pastelaria d’Avo Adelia whose Torta do Algarve (there were three!) were an absolute revelation.
Nazare: Surfer’s paradise
And then finally, look at this sunset! We sat on the cliffs staring down onto the waves that can get up to 12 metres in the right season. Going there in February meant that we were among very few people out there, among them two surfers who I absolutely did not envy. Don’t wanna know how cold the Atlantic was really. And then it was home time. Back to Lisbon for another few hours.
Back in Lisbon: The LX Factory
I’ve been here before, so checking out old favourites was cool but the one place I hadn’t heard about pretty quickly sucked me in, leaving not much time for other things! The LX Factory is a relatively new warehouse-style hub for creative businesses, bars, concept stores and galleries. I had the best coffee of this trip at the incredible Cafe na Fabrica. I wanted to steal absolutely every piece of furniture they had but I’m sure my airline wouldn’t have approved… And then lastly, for the most authentic fish roll, head over to the Time Out Mercado da Riberia and then bloody run for that ol’ bus to catch your flight. Thank you Portugal once again for sunshine, waves and great food. <3
All photos by Caroline Schmitt & Bernhard Huber