We left Ilha de Berlengha not too late and not before baking a fresh bread! After lunch, the weather was that good we could fly the red beast again! What a gorgeous day for sailing further south! Going at great speed doing around 9 knots, with the 2 of us! WHOOPWHOOP! We passed Cascais at around 18.00 and went up the river Tagus. Such an amazing entrance to an amazing town. Entering the river you see a fort on your left-hand side: Forte de São Julião da Barra. And on your right-hand side, you see Forte de São Lourenço do Bugio or Farol do Bugio.

São Julião da Barra Fort
The largest and most complete military defence complex in the Vauban style remaining in Portugal. Considered in the past as the most important maritime fortification in the country, it had originally, together with the Fort of São Lourenço do Bugio, the role of controlling access to the port of Lisbon. It is currently the official residence of the Portuguese Minister of National Defence.

The Fort of São Lourenço do Bugio
 Known as the fort of São Lourenço da Cabeça Seca (Saint Lawrence of the dry head) or simply Torre do Bugio (Bugio Tower), is located in the middle of the estuary of the river Tagus. It is presently a lighthouse. The fort’s location is on a sandbank formed by the silting of the river mouth, the result of the meeting of the river’s waters with those of the Atlantic Ocean. Being the only sandbar in the Tagus with its surface above the tide throughout the year, it was given the name “dry head”. The derivation of the name “Bugio” (monkey) is uncertain but may be related to the French word for candle, “bougie”, due to the similarity of the fort’s structure with a candle on a candlestick.

Further down the river, on your left-hand side, you find 4 more forths and some other monuments like the Padrão dos Descobrimentos. This monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery (or Age of Exploration) during the 15th and 16th centuries. On the right side of the river bank it’s an industrial area. Then, when the Bridge 25 de Abril comes closer and closer ….That is such a magical view and feeling! It’s something like we made it! Lisbon, here we come! We were so excited that we made it all the way up, together! Besides that, the weather conditions were absolutely perfect! Very clear, the sun was shining, even in the right direction to make some beautiful pictures! What an entrance to a very special place. Picture perfect time!

THE 25 de Abril Bridge

The 25 de Abril Bridge, Ponte 25 de Abril or 25th of April Bridge,  is a suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon, capital of Portugal, to the municipality of Almada on the south bank of the Tagus river. It was inaugurated on August 6, 1966, and a train platform was added in 1999. It is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, US, because they are both suspension bridges of similar colour. With a total length of 2,277 metres (7,470 ft), it is the 32nd largest suspension bridge in the world. The upper deck, running 70 meters (230 ft) above water, carries six car lanes, while the lower deck carries a double track railway. Several movies have been filmed on the bridge, including some scenes in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. You cannot walk across the bridge, but every year there is a half-marathon that starts on the south bank and finishes in the north bank (Belem). Recently an observation deck was built allowing people to go to the platform.

Santuário de Cristo Rei

Also, an important monument when sailing into Lisbon is the Santuário de Cristo Rei or the Sanctuary of Christ the King. A Catholic monument and shrine dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ overlooking the city of Lisbon situated in Almada. The monument was erected on an isolated clifftop 133 meters above the sea, overlooking the left bank of River Tagus. The construction of the Christ the King monument was approved in a Portuguese conference, held on 20 April 1940, as a plea to God to release Portugal from entering World War II. However, the idea had originated earlier on a visit of the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in 1934, soon after the inauguration of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in 1931.

River Tagus
Sailing the river Tagus has something magical. It has 2 bridges: The 25 Abril bridge and the Vaso the Game bridge.The Tagus (/ˈtɡəs/; Spanish: Tajo, Portuguese: Tejo,  is the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula. It is 1,007 km (626 mi) long, 716 km (445 mi) in Spain, 47 km (29 mi) along the border between Portugal and Spain and 275 km (171 mi) in Portugal, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean near Lisbon. The river enters Portugal, at the head of the long narrow estuary, which has Lisbon at its mouth. The estuary is protected by the Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve. There is a large bridge across the river, the Vasco da Gama Bridge, which with a total length of 17.2 km (10.7 mi) is the second longest bridge in Europe. The Port of Lisbon, located at its mouth, is one of Europe’s busiest.

Doca de Alcântara
There are a few marina’s along the river but not all suitable for catamarans. We went to the marina Doca de Alcântara, right in the city centre. You sail under the 25 Abril bridge and find the marina on your port side. To enter the marina you must first pass a commercial pier with pedestrians, car traffic, including bigger freighters. The operator needs to be contacted on VHF channel 68 to access the inner basin of the marina. There is no berthing assistance available. But at this time of year, it was quiet and enough space and free berths.

Office / Reception hours
08:00 – 13:00 and from 14:00 – 19:00 (Monday to Friday)
08:00 – 13:00 and from 14:00 – 19:00 (Weekends and Public holidays)
Summer Period (May to September) the reception of this Dock closes at 20:00
Attention: The reception will be closed on the next public holidays: 1st January, Easter Sunday, 1st May and 25th December.
Drawbridge of Rocha Conde D´Óbidos
00:00 – 07:00 – OPEN TO NAVIGATION
19:00 – 24:00 – OPEN TO NAVIGATION
00:00 – 24:00 – OPEN TO NAVIGATION

Doca de Alcantara is a 10-minute walk to the tram for the city centre. Turn left from the marina and down the subway for the trains, or buy a joint ticket for metro and buses from the cigarette kiosk. There is a Pingo Doce Supermarket just over the road, which is good for stocking up. We arrived at about 17.30 and had dinner on board and enjoyed the scenery in a new place to discover the next day! What a great day we had!

The next day we went out exploring Lisbon. We went walking into town. When you leave the marine just keep going to your right. Follow the road along the water. A nice and relaxing stroll along the river bank with beautiful views. As you already might know is that Captain and myself and not very cultural and will not visit every church or chapel or whatever. We rather “sniff” the city by walking and just let the senses speak for yourself. After about 35 minutes you will arrive at a big square which seems to be the centre of town: Praça do Comércio. Here you find the statue of King José I. The king on his horse is symbolically crushing snakes on his path. From here we walked towards Augusta Street, which links the square with the other traditional Lisbon square, the Rossio, the original project by Eugénio dos Santos planned a triumphal arch, only realised in 1875. This arch has a clock and statues of Glory. Behind the arch, you find the big shops with the big brands which we do not like. So we went for lunch outside and we walked back in the direction of the marina. Lisbon is a very walking friendly town, and thank god, not as hilly as Porto! Even in October, it was packed with tourists and very busy. Keep looking to the left and to the right when walking around. There is where the magic happens. The small inside squares with small restaurants and specialised shops. And of course not to miss is the famous yellow tram! That night we went out for dinner in a small typical Portugeuse restaurant with even better red wines …., what a great day again! Back to the boat, the next day leaving early again for our next destination: Sines!