Today we took the train northwest to Sintra. This was the summer escape of the kings of Portugal. There are three main tourist areas – the National Palace, the Moorish Castle, and the Pena Palace. From the train station we took the bus to the National Palace. When we got off the bus we couldn’t figure out where we were. We finally decided that we must be the stupidest tourists in Portugal because there was a huge palace behind us.
Ceiling of the Swan Room
Look at the tile work on the walls.
Wondering what that guy is photographing on the ceiling?
Lunch was at a small cafe by the palace. I had a crepe with powdered sugar. It was super yummy.
Our next stop was the Moorish Castle. Here is the view of it from the National Palace. It is in the clouds on top of that hill.
Again we were stupid tourists. There was another American couple trying to figure out what path to take to the top. We had a map. The four of us could not figure it out. The SO decided that the principal Moorish defense was confusing the invaders. Finally we figured it out and hiked up to the top. It is a 9th century fortress. I climbed up to the tippy top but it was so cold and windy that I was in danger of falling off.
The Pena palace was built by a cousin of Bavaria’s King Ludwig. Obviously the crazy building gene was in the whole family. We had to seriously hike up the hill. There was a tram but of course we didn’t see it until we were already at the top. The SO was muttering about him taking me on vacation and trying to kill him during the whole hike. I called him a whiner. He muttered more names for me.
The outside of the Palace is a mishmash of styles and colors and whatever entered ol’ Ferdinand’s mind. We ended up having lunch there. I had a very nice brie, honey, and walnut sandwich on wheat bread.
Then it was a hike down in the rain. We took the train back to Lisbon. Dinner was at an Italian restaurant. I had mushroom risotto. It was very good
8.3 miles walked, mostly uphill, today