Sunday, 2 September 2012

Greetings from Penha Longa ... a Ritz-Carlton managed hotel, golf & spa resort ... located in beautiful Sintra, just outside Lisbon.

This is my fourth visit here - my first for filming.

So we were up early and headed to the Jardim Estrela where we jumped on a specially chartered tram for a look around the city. There has been a tram system here since 1901 ... and used to be over 140 kilometres in length - now it's just 40 or so.

Lisbon is on a par with Athens as the oldest city in Europe and has survived earthquakes, dictators and just a few invasions.

I am not an expert on Lisbon BUT thankfully I have a very dear friend here - Mariana Sousa - who is. She took us all on a magical mystery tour of the city. There are 7 hills so walking around is not easy but taking the tram keeps you on street level (there is a subway) and lets you see the sights. We travelled up & down the city for around an hour starting at the garden and we took in Europe's largest piazza, cathedrals, shopping areas and we ended up in Belem - home to the Jeronimo Monastery (where the kings of Portugal and Vasco de Gama have been buried) and the Tower of Belem ... set on the River Tagus which was the last thing and the first thing that the sailors/explorers of Portugal saw. This city is a surprise ... there is so much to see, do and explore!

Last night, Mariana's family took me to Porto Santa Maria - arguably the country's finest seafood restaurant - which is located on the beach of the nearby seaside town of Cascais.
The cuisine was sensational ... as was the company! I now have family in Portugal ... yay!

So this afternoon I managed to pop down to the driving range to try out my new golf clubs - they work!

Resort filming tomorrow.

I suddenly want to watch "Sideways"!

Song of the Day: Life's What You Make It - Talk Talk

With Mariana and the tram

Tower of Belem
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