We had opted for a 3 day extension at the start of our holiday and stayed at the Sheraton Hotel in Lisbon. We were given a city tour on the first morning and subsequently re-visited some of the sites on our second [free] day. In the afternoon we were taken to a ‘traditional fishing village’ named Cascais. This was our only disappointment of the whole holiday as it was just a typical seaside town with a crowded beach and a stage being erected for [we presumed] concert on the forthcoming public holidays. We enjoyed dinner each evening with fellow travellers who were also on the extension. On the 4th day we travelled by Scenic’s own coach to Porto via Coimbra where we stopped for a brief visit and lunch. We were warmly welcomed on board the ‘Scenic Azure’ and soon settled into our luxury cabin. This was our 4th river cruise with Scenic and we always stay on the middle deck as this meets all our needs. Our cruise director spoke excellent English and all the staff on the ship were Portuguese. We visited some beautiful old villages during the cruise and passed through 5 locks twice on our route to Spain and back. The largest of these is 35m making it one of the deepest locks in the world! We were blessed with hot sunny weather every day except the last in Porto where the Atlantic sea mist was rolling in but it cleared by lunchtime [ apparently this is normal ]. On this day we visited a real fishing village called Afurada and enjoyed barbecued sardines in a local tavern for lunch. This is a truly delightful place, right down to the communal washing house with, all the washing strung out on lines next door, right next to the harbour. The facades of nearly all of the fishermen’s houses were covered in decorated ceramic tiles to protect against the effects of the sea mists. We enjoyed some musical concerts on board and even had a Fado concert in an old Church, no longer used for worship. There were also some craft workshops on board, which were great fun.
All in all another great Cruise with Scenic – we can’t wait for the next one.