Travelling around Lisbon and Cascais we were impressed by the use of stone sets with black patterns in many public areas. However, move into an older area like the route down from 25 Abril (we were at the Cidadela Hotel - and good it was too), through the charming old town the condition of the stone sets is appalling. Many stones are loose with gaps and potholes and scattered loose sets its easy to trip over. Fortunately, you are close to the local hospital if you do fall!
So stick to the main road/pathway if you have mobility problems - the condition of these is a bit better
Pity we did not have pothole pictures - our camera was stolen in Sintra but that's another story.
I managed to not get robbed for a whole 15 minutes after leaving the Airport on the public bus. His name is SANDOKAN*
Some may say he is a magician. He has been making tourists money and wallets disappear for 20 years. I have seen the photos going back to his youth in police files. I even knew he was a pickpocket, that’s why I have 10 photos of him. He still got my wallet and money. 2 old guys (about 60 years old each) came on at another stop and blocked my view of him. I had even moved my wallet to a tighter pocket with a zip. This bastard has hands like a surgeon. When I went to the Tourist Police in Lisbon, they called in the undercover Transport Police. They knew him. So my whole first day of going to the VT Meeting in Cascais was spent with the Police in several locations making statements. Lots of them and signing them. He got about £35 from me, but cost me a whole day of sightseeing.
How does he and others work? Sandokan has a loose jacket over his shoulders. This keeps his hands free and hidden when he is in your pockets. He then uses 2 others guys to move close and touch you. They actually push against you. Sandokan then reaches past them and grabs your wallet. He is good. Too good. He makes 400-800 Euros a DAY.
My advice? Do what I do and use Credit Cards, Debit Cards and Travellers Cheques. Try never to carry large amounts of cash on the public busses, especially from the airport. That’s where they work. Crowded confined areas full of people who just arrived. Please take care.
* Sandokan is his nickname used by the Police. Sandokan is a fictional Pirate from a book written over 100 years ago. Unfortunately for me – he is all too real.
I found that if you are trying to get back to your Hotel and you have had a few drinks walk back the way you know even if it is longer, Don't try and cut through because it is very easy to go the wrong way. Oh and watch the Pavements because it is easy to trip up :-)
They say that the roads of some ancient cities were paved in Gold. Well, Cascais has walkways paved in s**t. The BAD dog owners of Cascais must be legendary in Europe. Walking through leafy quiet neighbourhoods all you hear is dogs barking. And when you walk through these same scenic residential areas all you see is dog poo everywhere. The 2nd worst thing? Seeing where some unfortunate has trod through this dog much and spread it all about. The worst? Being the unfortunate person with dog mess on your shoes. It is truly incomprehensible how bad the owners are. I have had dogs snarl at me from large gaps in fences, seen dogs running lose over several properties, and dogs left outside without any shade.
Hard to believe, but it gets worse. The last photo shows a dispenser which gives you free dog poo bags to clean up after your dog. It is provided free of charge by the Cascais local government and are on poles in many streets. This one was diagonally across from my accommodation. Needless to say, there was dog s**I on the ground underneath the bags.
You couldn’t make it up. Please watch your step.
The sea is quiet unpredictable on this coast. You should be very careful when approaching the cliffs, as there have been cases of people taken by waves. There are a lot of winds, waves and currents here, and as the coast is very rocky it could be dangerous if a wave hits you.
The Portuguese are not the best drivers in the world but they sure can park a car.
If there is any space at all they will put a car in it. Most times thay will not get a ticket as long as it is a place marked for parking.
In Cascais town center there is a big paking lot on the sea front but it is only for the city hall and is monitored by the police.
DO NOT TRY TO PARK HERE,
You may get a ticket just for trying.
In addition... The police stand near the small street that goes through Cascais and look for people on their cell phones... As you will be sitting in traffic... you will get a ticket for talking on the phone while driving.. and it hurts $$$$$
What became visible at the EuroMeet2009 was the "Dropping Pants" effect.
It's known to peak at the night and just makes your pants drop.
The local vagabond is well-known, but not welcome everywhere. He can be annoying asking for sigarettes, a drink or more. Just avoid hom.
Although most of the pavements in the town appear to be new and very pretty you must be careful where you tread. Dog mess is a problem here.