An impromptu afternoon in Alcochete

Being stuck on a bridge wasn’t in the cards when I planned our trip to Coruche last weekend, but it happened.

It was only a second after we turned to the Vasco da Gama bridge when my dad noticed something was wrong. The water temperature of the car was way past the limit, which meant the hood could pop open at any minute – we had to stop the car immediately!

“How on earth are we getting out of here?” – I thought to myself. There’s no way to turn back and we can’t go anywhere until the temperature drops down. I looked ahead and I struggled to see the end of the road, that’s what happens when you stand at the beginning of Europe’s longest bridge.

The sun was still shining and we had a privileged view of the Tagus river – I guess there are worst places to be stranded.

vasco da gama bridge

Right before my dad picked us up, I bought a big water bottle and funny enough that is what saved our butts. I handed it over to my dad and he poured it all down the water tank. Within a few minutes the system cooled down and we were okay to drive again!

By this point it was already too late to go to Coruche. I had been planning to go see Coruche’s hot air balloon festival for months, instead I ended up across the river in Alcochete.

We could have gone home, called off this whole trip and complained about the time we wasted on the road, but my inner explorer refused to do that.

When my dad suggested we stopped in Alcochete I said yes right away.

alcochete riverfront

The area is mostly known for its big fashion outlet, but there’s so much worth seeing around here.

We took a walk by the riverfront and I did my best to pass by as many streets as I could, capturing details that I never thought I would find in Alcochete.

Old buildings waiting to be recovered, bullfighting references and beautiful façades like the one from Tertúlia São João are a few things that I found myself admiring both through my eyes and through the lens of my camera. It actually reminded a bit of my trip to Vila Franca de Xira, since both of them have a bullfighting history and are set by the river.

alcochete house

alcochete statue

I found out one of our kings was actually born in Alcochete, his name was D.Manuel I and he loved spending his holidays here. I mean it’s no Sintra, but it does have a small village vibe to it.

It was almost dinner time so we decided to stay in the area and headed to A Palmeira* for some fresh fish.

Just as in Setúbal, my dad was greeted like a regular customer, even though he had only been to this restaurant twice!

We picked a large bass for the three of us which was grilled to perfection.

“Hey, we can see balloons anytime” – my dad said after we devoured the whole fish.

I couldn’t agree more.

*The restaurant was quite pricey so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for a cheap eat, but there are plenty more restaurants worth trying.

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