Day one in Figueira da Foz. Technically, I suppose, it should be day two but since a good part of yesterday was spent travelling this is the first whole day here. So, day one it is. Not having running gear with me (travelling hand luggage only restricts what you can carry), instead I got up and went for a walk along the sea front and back along the boardwalks on the immense beach, taking pictures of palms being blown around by the fierce wind. Windy it might be but cold it is not.
The beautiful stripy beach huts are all closed up for the winter season. One has a notice on the door declaring it to be the "biblioteca da praia", the beach library! What a splendid idea!
At home they have snow. People have been posting photos on Facebook. We got away just in time, it seems. That white stuff is very pretty to look at but extremely impractical.
Sometime after midday we walked out and examined the market hall with its huge variety of fruit and fish for sale. The upper floor still seems to need some developing but the ground floor appears to be thriving. We bought Portugal mugs for our cups of tea. Our hotel room is equipped with a kettle but the only cups provided are nasty expanded polystyrene things. So now we have more picturesque things to drink from.
Our wanderings took us to the Núcleo Sporting where, even though we are not members, we got the members' discount menu do dia: soup and "mista de peixe", a plate of various fried fish with baked potatoes and salad. With wine, water and coffee, it all came to €22.40. Another bargain lunch!
Later in the day I walked out to the light house, going past the notice at the start of the causeway, warning me about the danger of "overtopping" in the dangerous "sweel". I presume this meant that waves might come over the top if their was a big swell! Good grief! This Portugal where they pride themselves in being good at English. We expect better!
On my way back to the hotel I found what might be the eponymous fig tree. Figueira da Foz means the fig tree at the mouth of the river. And there it was, just near the old fortifications and what I assume was the original lighthouse (the one I walked to is at the end of an artificial sea wall enclosing and extending the harbour): a fig tree, rather devoid of leaves and a bit straggly but still recognisably a fig tree. There you go!