Holy smokes. It's time to catch up with some content.

We started off week 3 looking to see what the kids wanted to do most around town. Queen bee Junie tends to win these discussions #becausethirdchild and Forte de Sao Filipe was her #1 choice. We jump in an Uber and head up only to find out it's closed. We continually forget that Monday in Portugal is a semi-weekend day. Some stuff will be open, but it's hit or miss. Our Uber driver didn't speak any English, but we were able to butcher through enough conversation to find out that she recommended Castelo de Palmela which according to google was open. The Castle of Palmela is a large piece of local history dating as far back as the 8th century. The other sight that was awe inspiring (in a scary way) was seeing the amount of hillside that was burned to a crisp near the castle. This was from a massive fire that occurred almost exactly a year ago.

One mistake was misjudging just how hot the day was going to be, mixed with the fact that again, it was Monday and there was literally nowhere open in Palmela for a cool drink. We wandered the streets looking for a cafe but in the end we had to call an Uber to return us closer to the city where we could find cakes, drinks and spend the afternoon playing cards.

Tuesday was a lower-key day where we returned to the historic Praca de Bocage area. They commonly decorate the streets surrounding the square in one way or another during the summer months and this year doesn't disappoint. The theme appears to be streamers representing the land up one street and the ocean down another.

Still upset about the Fort being closed on Monday, Junie is now a girl on a mission to return. She mentioned it multiple times on Tuesday and Wednesday we finally gave in so we would hear the end of it. The Fort of Sao Filipe is one of the most prominent and easily recognizable spots on the Setubal landscape. It was one of the key defenses from pirates invading the Portuguese coastline in the 16th century. It's called a must-visit, and I am happy to report: can confirm. It overlooks not only the port city of Setubal, but also has great view of Troia, home to some of Europe's most prestigious beaches.

Finally, we were talked into "Burguesa" for dinner. Henry's a burger aficionado at this point, and he rates this place in his top 5.

On Friday we joined a gym called Supera, located about a mile east of our apartment. The gym itself is pretty standard fare for a large facility, but they have multiple indoor pools, something I like to call a "warm tub" (please sir, just a couple more degrees!), dry sauna, (wet) Turkish bath, a multi-temperature shower that alternates hot and cold spurts of water, and a nice outdoor pool.

One of the idiosyncrasies of this club (Is it all over Europe?) is that they require a swim cap for everyone while in the indoor pools or hot tub. Not required in the outdoor pool though. The lifeguard (who watches the outdoor pool from the back door ~30 yards away from the water) tried to explain to me that if you wore your swim cap outside your head might get too warm 🤔️

Hope y'all are having a great time back in the States! Steve and Erin

Week 3: June 25th - July 1