Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter in Nazare

We were forewarned against Nazare, but Nazare turned out to be the only place in this part of Portugal that had any kind of Easter activity that I could discern; we decided to give it a try. And we are very glad we did!

1. Nazare is a beach town on the Atlantic coast. Part of the town is on a 110m cliff served by a funicular. Long before we figured out the geometry of the town, lured by high booking.com score, I booked us in a room in shared apartment situation, something we rarely do. Several time I was tempted to change, but never did. It turned out to be a special experience. In the evenings, we walked up the hill or funicular home. Then after dinner, we strolled over to check out the sunset high above town.

2. We have been to many beach towns that highlight their suitability for surfing. None is as serious as Nazare. Their fort is a wave and surfing museum, and the professional surfer Justine Dupont lives in our building.

3. Nazare has 15,000 year round residents, 100,000 in August. Our landlady counts 5 out of 30 units in our building as year round; the others are used less than one month out of the year. This Easter weekend there were quite a few visitors in town. Instead of Easter-themed events, we were treated to folk performances both Saturday and Sunday. There was a very authentic feel, as each costume was individually crafted and assembled, not from a group order from China. John and I sat in the sand for the performances, gentle sun, light breeze.... we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

It is rather curious, Nazare as a whole seems particularly traditional and authentic, not only for a beach town, but also for all of Portugal we have seen.

Nazare is composed of the older upper town called Sitio, and the lower town (with the beach) called Nazare. There is also North Beach Nazare, the one that gets the so-called Big Waves. We stayed up in Sitio and here's the view down to Nazare.
Nazare, Portugal

Nazare Beach is long and wide, with a promenade.
Nazare, Portugal

Nazare, Portugal

On Saturday there was folking dancing. I'm kinda picky about what folk dancing I like - this I liked.
Nazare, Portugal

After standing for a few minutes, we moved to sit in the sands to watch the remaining 2 hours or so of just about non-stop music and dancing from 5 different local groups.
Nazare, Portugal

Nazare, Portugal

Nazare, Portugal

Nazare, Portugal

Nazare, Portugal

After the dancing, we trudge back up the hill to Sitio, eat dinner then go out to watch the sunset and the lights come on.
Nazare, Portugal

Nazare, Portugal

Nazare, Portugal

Nazare, Portugal

Nazare, Portugal

Night View - Nazare, Portugal

Easter morning we eat our Easter Breads ie local specialties made only at Easter.
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

We peek in the church.
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Then out to the fortress to see the Big Wave Surfing Museum and the famous Nazare North Beach.
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

All's quiet at North Beach; no 100 foot waves today. Just windmills turning.
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Part of the surfing exhibit.
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Here's where the big waves break.
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Nazare, Portugal

Then back down to Nazare Beach for the fun, low-key parade, showing off the local "old ways".
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Jug tossing. ;-) I think this toss went to a surprised but alert spectator.
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Back streets.
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

The older ladies of Nazare were intently playing a game that was kinda like cricket but with only one wicket and no bat. You had to be there.
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Then more dancing at the beach stage.
Nazare, Portugal

And a final walk on the beach.
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Then up to Sitio for a final sunset - that was a dud.
Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday - Nazare, Portugal

Easter Sunday Sunset - Nazare, Portugal









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