One of the main things that we intended to do in Portugal was to see the ocean. Since Lisbon lies on the River Tagus that empties into the Atlantic Ocean, we had to go further west to get to the ocean. The city of Cascais located near Lisbon was the place that introduced us to the open ocean. It took just 40 minutes to reach it by train.

Cascais is popular among the Portuguese, who often come here from different parts of the country to swim and sunbathe. The town is famous for its lovely natural beaches – there’s about a dozen of them.

One of the beaches called Praia da Rainha is situated in a lagoon and surrounded by rocks. That’s why it’s not windy there, and the water is relatively calm and a couple of degrees warmer than elsewhere. We came there hoping to spend at least a day lazing on the beach. However, we weren’t able to do that. Although we got there in mid-August, the water temperature was just 16 degrees.

We certainly spent some time on the beach. Our kids played a bit there, and we even had a quick swim, but it was more of box ticking than actual pleasure.

Later, we found there are special sea pools used for swimming here. For example, the Alberto Romano pool is a sort of a fenced pond within the sea. During the day, the water gets quite warm here, so people have a chance to bathe in the Atlantic waters without freezing up.

Marshal Carmona Park

Cascais is a very clean and beautiful resort seaport town. There are lots of old constructions preserved here: churches, mansions, and simply lovely houses with tiled roofs and azulejo mosaicked walls.

There are a lot of neat picturesque parks with great landscape design in the city. We visited one of them called the Marshal Carmona Park. It’s a large area perfect for quiet walks and family picnics in the open air.

Apart from green lawns, magnificent fountains, an impressive rose garden, and headily clean air, the park has a great variety of birds living there: peacocks, pheasants, ducks, hens. They consider themselves the owners of the park and walk around freely without fearing people. There’s a pond inhabited by fish, turtles, and again, flocks of different birds.

The Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum, a former palace of a Portuguese aristocrat, is situated in the park. It was built in the early 20th century but looks as an old building having features of several architectural styles.