The Cabo de São Vicente is the most south-western point of the European mainland. Already the Celts worshipped this place as menhirs in the vicinity prove. The ancient Greeks called it Ophiussa (Land of Serpents), they dedicated a temple to Heracles here.
The Romans consecrated it to Saturn and the Christians to Saint Vincent whose corpse is said to have been washed ashore in the area about 300 BC. They built a cloister which was destroyed by Sir Francis Drake, the remains disappeared in the great earthquake in 1755. In the 19th century the site was rebuilt and since then has belonged to the navy.
The most powerful lighthouse of Europe and the second most powerful one worldwide stands here, its two 1000-watt lamps can be seen as far as 60 kilometres away. All shipping routes to Africa, America and the Mediterranean Sea pass the spot, so there‘s a lot of traffic below the Cape.
On the Cape there‘s traffic, too, tourists come who want to see ‘the end of the world‘, the barren tundra like landscape, the high cliffs (up to 75 m), bird watchers and those who merely want to feel the power of the wind. The Cape is approximately six kilometres away from the village of Sagres, public buses from the EVA bus company go there from Portimao via Lagos.
A street market sells woollen articles, pullovers and caps, and Portuguese knickknack to the tourists coming for an hour or so on a day out from their holiday destinations in the Algarve. When they‘re hungry, they can go to a unique institution, the German Bratwurst stall that has been standing there since the mid 1990s. A German couple and their team sell original bratwursts from Thuringia and the town of Nuremberg, the two most famous varieties in Germany. The stall is a caravan, open on one side with a counter in it, with an enormous bratwurst on top winking at the customers and the words "The Last Bratwurst before America" (see piccie at the top of the site.
The bratwursts are served in a roll with as much mustard (or ketchup or mayonnaise) as you like. You may know German bratwursts from German Christmas markets in GB, they‘re crispy, juicy and a bit spicy, I don‘t think that lovers of fried sausages can find better ones anywhere else in the world. The clients are handed a certificate stating that they‘ve visited the "most south-westerly" point of Europe on this special day.
In the beginning 95% of the clients were Germans, now the German contingent has dwindled to 30%, the Spaniards follow with 25%, the Portuguese with 10%, 5% come from GB, the rest from the rest of the world. Reading the homepage www.letztebratwurst.com I get the impression that the owner has become a bit bitter over the years because of the many silly questions he‘s been asked. Many are listed together with his ironic replies. For example: "Why don‘t you sell Portuguese food in Portugal?" He counters if the client also asks a likewise question in Germany when they eat pizza or drink a cappuccino in an Italian restaurant. Another favourite is, "Do you live here?" which gets the answer, "Of course, otherwise I‘d be in the churchyard."
The Bratwurst people are still dreaming of a house as it’s often very, very windy in their stall, maybe someone can go and have a look next year if they’ve got it?