Postcard from Cascais, Portugal: Postage-stamp-size beach was perfect for parasol set

Cascais is a once extremely fashionable resort. Its proximity to Lisbon made it a welcome retreat for city-dwellers in the summer.

The old resort houses are not mere cabanas, but elegant. Many built during the twilight of the Portuguese monarchy, including an 1890 one by an Irishman, O’Neill – easy to spot among the photos because of a shamrocked ceiling.

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Small beaches were not an issue back then. Tans were not in vogue; parasols were. Vacations were about promenades along esplanades.

But the resort still is a magnet; it’s only a $3 train ride from Lisbon, about 40 minutes. And it’s nothing but relaxing. A great place for an afternoon stroll with cooling breezes off the Atlantic and a stop at Gin and Moules for exactly what the name advertises.