Friday, October 6, 2017

'5min from Ericeira- you'll love it!' - Pedros' airbnb in Ericeira, Portugal

There were a bunch of school / college students at the Sintra railway station helping the tourists. How nice that is!!!! They were in their uniforms, very friendly, and highly intelligent too. We were impressed. And they gave us correct directions to Ericeira, ie. take the train till Portela de Sintra, and catch a Mafrense bus to Ericeira. We did just that, and reached safely.
Let me clarify at the outset: It is Pedro's airbnb. He manages the site and bookings etc. But the day to day running of the homestay is done by Jose and Lourdes, Pedro's parents. 
On reaching Ericeira, we telephoned Jose for directions, and he came in person to the bus station to pick us up. Wow, that was more than called for. 
When was it the last time that you arrived at a homestay and a board in front of the house, says "Welcome, Joachim"? That is Jo's feedback on our stay at Pedro's airbnb in Ericeira, Portugal. 
This eclectic easy chair in the front verandah awaits our entry.
The staircase leading to the first floor is cladded with beautiful hand painted ceramic tiles.
I had not shot any photos of our room. But it was exactly like in the photos shown in airbnb. We were shown around the house and garden, and house was beautifully clean and well kept, with a big kitchen and a great garden all round the house.
Let me introduce Jose and Lourdes. They are standing behind bushes of hydrangea which were in full bloom. It was the first time I had seem the flowers in someone's garden. Jose and Lourdes are the warmest host we ever stayed with; Very friendly and helpful. Running a homestay was Pedro's idea. He wanted to have that experience and let out his room. Lourdes says that since she cannot go and see the world, the world is coming to her. What a profound thought! Yes, truly, people from every continent stayed with them. Infact they have put up a world map, and the guests have to pin the city they come from, onto the map. It is filling up fast! Started in 2015, they are busy through the tourist season. And why not, with their two delightful cats, world famous orange cake, home made jam, a beautiful garden to relax in!
There are several species of plants, other than hydrangea, lavender Hortense, lemon, Physallis, bougainvilleas etc. and carpet grass rest of the place. A love seat, a paved walkway and and green lawns make up the landscaping. At the end of the lawn is a pavilion or purgola under which garden chairs are kept. Lourdes lit candles at dinner time and the whole place became fairy tale like. we cooked breakfast and dinner in their kitchen and ate in the outside garden.

we stayed for two days with Jose and Lourdes. Jose insisted on dropping us to the bus station. As we were late by a few minutes, to our dismay, we missed the bus. Then he raced us to Torres Vedres train station from where we took the train to Obidos. Lourdes gave us a jar of home made jam and packed two pieces of orange cake for the journey. 
Thanks Jose and Lourdes. We decide to visit you on our next trip to Portugal.

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