Parede, the Portuguese word for “wall” or a small town in Cascais, where I spent most of my childhood.
Even though I left Parede when I was fifteen, I often go back to see friends and family. It was there that I learned how to ride a bike, where I read my first book, where I had my first arguments with my parents and where I cried over my first crush. There are endless stories that I can tell you about this lovely town written in old diaries and printed in old photographs. Parede will always be a part of my life.
My parents are now living closer to Cascais, but I meet them in Parede every once in a while to visit my grandmother or for someone’s birthday. In my recent visits, I started noticing different things – how the buildings look, how close the beach was and how quiet my life was here.
A lot of things have changed since I moved away. There are more cafés (yes Padaria Portuguesa has made it this far), a shisha bar and SMUP – the place where I had my ballet performances, that has turned into a meeting point for youngsters in the area. SMUP offers drinks, snooker, badminton and occasional gigs and it makes me wish I was back so I could indulge in all of it.
Last weekend, I took Nick to this dead-end in Parede, and before you start getting any ideas, this dead-end is where I spent fifteen years of my life. This is where my old house still stands. It’s really strange to see how it became someone else’s home. Now it’s simply a tourist stop every time I show Parede to some of my foreign friends.
I know Lisbon is not that far from here, especially considering that Nick has moved all the way from the UK, but sometimes it feels like a galaxy away!
Maybe I’ll go back one day, buy a house with a sea view, cover myself with Parede’s famous beach mud and watch my children play at the “Ducklings Park” (Parque dos Patinhos). That is, if I’m not travelling somewhere around the world….
Places worth visiting in Parede:
- Eduardo das Conquilhas – a restaurant in front of the train station that serves delicious seafood – a bit pricey so find someone else to pay the tab 😉
- Tuareg – a shisha bar with Moroccan-inspired decor. Most people come here for the shisha, but their milkshakes and teas are absolutely delicious!
- SMUP – a great place for night entertainment, make sure to check what’s happening on their Facebook page.
- Praia da Parede – I used to call it the “old people’s beach” because you wouldn’t find many young people here. Things have changed and the beach is now famous for its therapeutic mud that hides somewhere in the rocks.
- Parque Morais aka Parque dos Patinhos – a quiet park close to SMUP known by locals as Parque dos Patinhos “Ducklings Park”, because there’s always ducks waiting to be fed 🙂
- Jardins da Parede – technically in São Pedro do Estoril, but within walking distance from Parede, this garden is larger than Parque dos Morais and it’s perfect to walk your dog or relax on a sunny day.