Today Sofia and I went to Batalha to check out the monastery. She seemed excited, but got whiney and bored pretty quickly. I may not have seen everything, but I think I saw most of it. The unfinished chapel was my favorite part.
I’ll have to go to Batalha again on my own one day to spend more time in the monastery. I really like Batalha. It has one of our favorite coffee places. It’s just in a square with a view of the monastery. The coffee is good, and they always have a snack for the kids.
I knew that I would like Portugal, I probably even knew that I would love it. What surprises me is how much I love it, and how distinct so many places are. I love Lisbon because it’s big and urban. It’s old and new, and so charming and beautiful. When we were there, Kyle had said that there is a view everywhere and he’s right. Lisbon is full of stunning views. I love Sintra because it’s magical and charming. All of the palaces there are amazing and, much like the rest of Portugal, they are distinct.
Obidos is very different from Sintra but has that same magical quality. They both feel plucked from time and I could easily see them as the background to a fairytale. They are both unique. I see pictures on Instagram of Sintra and Obidos and I immediately know where they were taken.
Batalha is also charming and cute. I love how the monastery takes center stage and makes a beautiful backdrop to the city. Their park is one of my favorites. It’s along the river. They have two playgrounds, a dog park, a bathroom, and a place to play soccer. The town is small and easy to navigate on foot. It’s also the flattest place we have been in Portugal, making it easy to navigate with strollers.
Caldas da Rainha is, to me, not as overtly charming as some of the other places, but it is the only one I would consider living in. I love that their train station is so central to everything. It’s super easy to take the train into town, walk to the playground, the outdoor market, the park, and restaurants. The food there is amazing. Caldas has a lot of what I want for daily life.
I do think that we will likely move north next year. That makes exploring the Silver Coast this year even more fun. I love all of these places that I hadn’t even given a ton of thought to. I have given a ton of thought to Porto and Braga, so I wonder how I will feel about them when I see them. I’m happy that we love Portugal so much. Literally my only issue so far is that I don’t speak the language, and obviously that is my fault, not Portugals.
Once it warms up a bit, we will start some beach trips. I can’t wait to see Nazare. We already love Portugal, and we haven’t even gone to the beach yet (other than our day trip to Cascais). There are so many cute towns nearby worth exploring. I love that we are getting to travel and do new things again. And I love that we already have some comfort and familiarity in a foreign country.