The quay of the Palafitas

We drive past Lisbon across the bridge “Vasco da Gama”. At 17.2 km, it is the longest bridge in Europe. It was named after the Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama and is said to commemorate the 500-year discovery of the sea route to India in 1498. The bridge crosses the country’s largest river, the tejo, which widens into a delta near Lisbon before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.

And now comes the explanation of the funny title: Palafitas are self-made wooden walkways and huts that arose out of necessity in the 1950s. The oyster and clam fishermen’s boats were far too far from land at low tide. The fishermen built a tide-proof wooden jetty. More and more were added over time. It might look romantic at high tide and sunset, but now it doesn’t look so great at low tide.

But we eat very well in the nearby fishing village of Carrasqueira. We order seafood rice. First we get the tools we need. The tomato rice and the seafood (mussels, crabs, shrimp…) are delicious.


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