Our pallets are here! They arrived today. Our apartment building has a steep driveway down to the garages. We were really hoping they would be able to put the pallets in our garage since we really have no other way of moving them. It was a bit dicey, but they were able to do it. It’s a huge relief having the pallets in the garage. We can take the boxes out as we’re ready and they’re not in our way. We have already unpacked some of the kids toys and books, so they’re very happy. The pallets arrived in good condition. It kind of feels like Christmas!
Yesterday we decided to take the train to Caldas da Rainha. It was on my short list of places to live, so I was excited to go check it out. The Leiria train station is a bit out of the way, so we took an Uber there. We bought tickets using the CP app. It was just over 5 euro per adult- the kids were free. When we got to the train station we saw that there is a spot for Line 1, Line 2, and Line 3. We looked everywhere, but we couldn’t find anything to indicate which line to take. In Lisbon they have an automated screen that tells you the destination, the time of departure, and the line. We had to ask and were directed to Line 1. It was the same when we came home- nothing to indicate which line to take. We can always ask, but no one else has to, so we’re definitely missing something.
Anyways, the train ride took about 40 minutes. The train was really comfortable and we got our very own car since not many people were on the train. The train also has a bathroom! We have a 2+ hour train ride to Lisbon on Sunday and it was nice seeing what the train ride would be like. Sofia and Leo did great.
We got off the train at Caldas and almost immediately ran into a playground. We let the kids burn off some energy and set off to find the main square. When we got there, they had a market set up. That’s something we haven’t seen yet in Leiria, though I’m guessing they must have one. Kyle got a giant orange, Sofia a banana, and Leo an apple for 80 cents total. Kyle says the oranges out here are the best. I don’t like oranges, so I’ll take his word for it.
After the market we walked around the park a bit. I can’t remember the name, but it’s a beautiful park with the abandoned hospital. Caldas da Rainha felt smaller and more compact than Leiria (which it is), but not as small as Batalha. I think we saw all of Batalha while we were there, but we definitely did not see all of Caldas.
We could definitely see ourselves living in Caldas. It seems a lot easier to manage without a car. It’s cute and has its charms. I love the market. The food we had there was really good (though that has been true of everywhere we have gone on the Silver Coast). It’s nice to know that my judgement was correct- I thought Caldas was somewhere we might like to live and I was right. At the same time, visiting Caldas made me more aware of what I like about Leiria. I like the main square in downtown Leiria. I love the river and the walking/biking trail that goes along it.
Also, Caldas was the first place I really noticed the dog poop. A lot of people complain about dog poop on the sidewalks in Lisbon, but we didn’t really notice a lot. In Caldas I noticed it more. And it smelled like dog poop fairly often. I kept checking my shoe, sure that I must have stepped in some, but I didn’t. Kyle pointed out that, apart from the big park, we didn’t see any other green space in Caldas. There seems to be more in Leiria. But we could still seeing ourselves living in Caldas. There are a lot of pros there.
4 thoughts on “Caldas da Rainha”
Leira and Caldas seem pretty close, like 20 miles apart. Cant tell if one is hillier than the other. Does seem to have more green spaces in Leira, but at first glance it seems cozier in Caldos, more intimate a town, not just apartment buildings that do not give off a sense of neighborhood. Dog poo situation in Caldas sounds unpleasant. Do they not have poop pickup bags around town for free, or is this some Portuguese cultural thing. Lastly you went in December, so was it bitterly cold in Caldas then, or just chilly and damp? Thanks for the post and great pics! Cheers
Leiria and Caldas are very close. I have been to Caldas numerous times now and the dog poo situation isn’t quite as bad as that first time. Sometimes I see bags to clean up, but rarely. The poop seems to be a thing in a lot of countries. I know people complain about it in Spain and when I was looking into Costa Rica and Mexico, people said it was an issue there too. Caldas does seem cozier and it’s easier to navigate on foot since it’s more compact. Also the Caldas train station is right in town, but the Leiria one is too far for us to walk to. It wasn’t bitterly cold in December. It was barely chilly and damp. I’ve heard that last winter was much milder than normal so I’m curious as to what this winter will bring. Caldas is somewhat flat in town, but I’ve heard it gets pretty hilly once you leave the center. I guess the same could be said for Leiria. We happen to live at the top of a big hill, so I definitely notice them more in Leiria. If we lived in the city center we wouldn’t notice the hills much.
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Thx for the reply, Brooke. my wife and i are set to visit in caldas in mid to late september for 10 days. we did not notice a dogpoo problem in Tavira 2 years ago, but in Nice it was awful. Glad to hear the dog poo situation improved. My wife and are thinking of moving to Portugal, if all goes well on a D7. We are both retired. One concern my wife has is that coastal Portuguese towns become Party Central every weekend all summer. Our hope is Caldas is not like that, for quite frankly, we want the slow quite life in our golden years. Hope you have some comment, also, as to that issue. Many thanks, again.
I haven’t been to Caldas at night but I can’t imagine it being any kind of party town. I think that lots of places in the Algarve might turn into party cities during the summer, but so far we haven’t seen anything like that on the Silver Coast.