A holiday in Portugal.
A travel film documenting the Days' holiday in Portugal prefaced by, and concluded with, a story set on a local golf course.
The film begins with Laurie Day struggling to hit her golf ball from an area of rough. A group of three male golfers wish to pass them and Stuart Day waves them through. Laurie Day returns to her ball but unable to hit it collapses to the ground. On seeing her, Stuart Day abandons their game and takes his wife home, where he seats her in the garden and fetches a reviving drink of port. Laurie Day enquires into the identity of the drink and Stuart shows her the label on the bottle. Laurie notices the wine is produced in Portugal and shows her husband the book she has been reading ‘They Went To Portugal’. There is a close up of the bottle and of another being shown to Stuart Day on holiday in Portugal. The travel film follows. The film concludes on the same local golf course. On this occasion Stuart Day warns the three male golfers that he and his wife wish to play through. One of the men waves them through. After teeing off, Laurie Day wins the hole with a shot from the rough to the surprise of the three men.
The travel film details a trip made by Laurie and Stuart Day to Portugal, comprising shots of historic buildings, local beauty spots, visitor attractions and encounters with the local population. The holiday footage begins with Stuart Day talking with a local farmer, who is holding a bottle of port and gestures in the direction of vines. Other sequences include: historic buildings near Lisbon, notably the residence of Portugal’s last King and the Queen Mother’s Palace at Sintra; daily life and buildings in Sintra, noting the Moorish influences in architecture, the activities of locals, and including the purchase by Stuart Day of a lottery ticket; a visit to gardens at Quinta de Monserrate with shots of unfamiliar shrubs and trees; a visit to Lisbon; the scenery on the Arrabida coast; the beach and lifestyle found at Estoril, which is contrasted with that found in its less fashionable neighbour, Cascais; the observation of lobster traps at Ericera; a visit to the convent-Palace at Mafra; an observation of fishing activities on the beach at Nazaré; a record of a stay at an unidentified Pousada; the observation of conifers along the roads, tapped for turpentine; the monastery at Batalha and goods on sale on sale in its market; street scenes in Oporto; a visit to Braga and a record of the street celebrations during the festival of St John. The holiday footage concludes with a shot of the liner, at berth in Lisbon, which will transport Laurie and Stuart Day home.
Opengates, Parkway, Trentham, Stoke on Trent
Pena Castle [Pena National Palace], Sintra, Portugal
Sintra National Palace [Town Palace], Sintra
Torre do Relógio [Clock Tower], Sintra
Moorish Fountain, Volta Duche, Sintra
Monserrate Palace, Sintra
Marques Do Pombal Statue, Lisbon
Marques De Pombal Square, Lisbon
Praia do Tamariz, Estoril
Hotel Palácio, Estoril
Palácio Nacional e Convento de Mafra [National Palace Mafra]
Mosteiro da Batalha [Batalha Monastery]
Festival of St John [Braga]
Golf; Golf course etiquette; Portugal; Continental Travel
Produce of Portugal [bottle label]
They Went To Portugal [book cover]
Fonseca’s Choice Ruby Port [bottle label]
Sandeman Port [bottle label]
Towering over the Lisbon plain is Pena Castle home of the last King of Portugal, Manoel II, who abdicated in 1910 and retired to England.
Below the castle on a lower ledge lies Sintra, beloved of Byron and Southey. It clusters around the Queen Mother’s Palace, now open to the public, set in a secluded garden overlooking the square.
Evidence of Portugal’s old invader the Moor is still seen in architecture and ornamental tiling.
On Sundays the indoor market overflows into the street.
There may be no pools but all can have a virtuous flutter in the lotteries that support the hospitals. There are stop-me-and-buy-one boys to sell you a ticket.
If you leave your shoes outside the bedroom door nothing happens. The shoe shine boys’ union is well organised.
Grandjo [bottle label]
The curious kitchen chimneys of the Palace dominate the Sintra skyline.
The gardens of the Quinta de Monserrate, near Sintra, were laid out by a Scottish landscape gardener and contain many rare shrubs and trees.
Lisbon, rebuilt after the great earthquake of 1755, stands on a series of hills running down to the Tagus.
The Arrabida Coast south of the Tagus has all the blue of the Mediterranean.
Near the mouth of the Tagus is Estoril, sometimes called the Royal Morgue of Europe because two ex-Kings, three Royal pretenders and a score of princes and princesses have sought the sanctuary of its sunny shores.
Nearby Cascais with its busy fishing fleet is much older but seems likely to be absorbed by its fashionable neighbour.
At Ericera there are concrete gratings in the rocks to trap the incoming lobsters.
The towers of the great convent palace of Mafra, so huge it took fifteen thousand workmen thirteen years to complete, can be seen on the skyline from Sintra.
On the beach of Nazarè [Nazaré] the whole village toils at wresting fish from the sea, the men colourful in large patterned checks and tartans. The boats are as picturesque as the people.
Going north for the festival of St John at Braga gives an opportunity of sampling one of the charming Pousadas (inns) the Government have built on the main motoring roads.
Along the roadside groves of conifers are tapped for turpentine.
The Monastery at Batalha was built to commemorate Portugal’s overthrow of Spanish domination in 1385 by John I who had an English Queen.
You can lead a cow to market but a pig needs a poke!
The powerful Douro river which, in its upper reaches flows through the finest port wine country in the world, is the life blood of Oporto.
Oporto is decorated for the festival of St John but the dancing and fireworks do not start till evening.
Braga however devotes two days to it and celebrates wholeheartedly.
But alas in Lisbon a ship is waiting.
Trentham, Stoke on Trent; Sintra; Lisbon; Setúbal; Estoril; Cascais; Ericera; Mafra; Nazaré; Batalha; Oporto; Braga