Saturday, 14 July 2012

The dreaded 4am alarm call

Day 79 - 10.07.12 Setubal

So the 4am alarm went off and we did actually get up!  The drive out of Lisbon was less of a nightmare than we’d anticipated but nonetheless it was fantastic to get out of the capital on empty roads.  We made good time on our route to Setubal and easily found our spot by the river alongside lots of other campers.  We then promptly went back to bed!

More fountains in Setubal PortugalMain fountain in Setubal, PortugalAfter a few more hours sleep we got up to explore Setubal.  It’s an odd place that I can only assume used to be a much more bustling town than it is today.  It’s quite run down in places and there’s an awful lot of naff graffiti.  The centre is full of the Portuguese staple of Chinese shops.  Usually family run these Aladdin’s cave like shops play home to all sorts of imported knickknacks you never knew you needed.  They’re basically like huge pound shops only more expensive and selling clothes.  Typically each town only has one or two but Setubal has loads!  Aside from these often tacky shops however Setubal also has a number of international names including Body Shop, and Zara, normally only found in the big cities.  They seem very out of place and suggest Setubal may once have been a much more vibrant tourist destination than it is now.

Setubal main square, Portugal
Fountain with a rainbow, Setubal PortugalThere are some nice squares in town, quite a few attractive fountains and a couple of pretty churches.  We also took a walk up to the main park which although nothing special is a pleasant place to chill out.  Other than that there’s not a huge amount to see.  Out by our parking spot is the town beach, which is incredibly busy and has nice views up a pine covered hill to the old fort which overlooks the town.  There are a lot of plus points to suggest Setubal in its heyday was really nice but it does seem to have fallen on hard times more recently.  Nonetheless after the hustle and bustle of the outskirts of Lisbon, it’s quite nice to be somewhere a little more chilled out!   

In the evening we discovered a great nearby wifi connection and made the most of it by skyping family back home.

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