From Tokyo to Paris to Lisbon after a flight cancellation and chaos getting another flight we finally made it to our hotel and crashed out. The very funky room as luxurious and very comfortable and after a good nights sleep we tucked into a breakfast of warm Belem pastries/tarts that awakened the senses and got us hooked we then ventured through the streets of Lisbon to the sea front and took in this vibrant City. Next it was up to the Castle de sao Jorge on the hill overlooking the main square to take in both the vista and the history of the maritime capital.
We wandered around the hills and sloping streets around the harries and took in the atmosphere of the historic Faro music areas as well as the historic monuments of Portugals glory and gory days.
Lisbon was still very much caught in a bind between its past and its present predicament of economic chaos and social upheaval and this was evident in so much unfinished work throughout the city.
After our Spanish adventure we came back to Lisbon for a few days and stayed down by the waterfront and took in the amazing Monsteria dos Jordinimos, the Torre de Belem and Podroo de Discoveries on the river paying homage to the Portuguese adventurers and their global wanderings. we also partook of the fabulous Belen pastries from the original Monesteria outlet.
After an eventful drive to the west coast in the rain we were on our way to our apartment and bam, truck up the back…nasty messy and a pain in the neck for Ann who suffered whiplash and an ambulance visitation. 2hrs later and our damp smelly apartment was a disaster, we only lasted one night and then moved but Ericeira was wet and we enjoyed our time there discovering but not an exciting town.
One of the highlights was the national Palace of Mafra with its famous Basilica, and Library, it was enormous and was one of the many extravagant palaces built by The Royalty from Brazilian Gold that sent the country broke.
The highlight of Portugal was Sintra and it’s many amazing Palaces. we stayed at a lovely Pensao Nova Sintra with fabulous views to the old Morrish castle on the mountain and a great outdoor terrace. The town was lovely and was so easy to get around.
We wandered around the parks and garden and then discovered an amazing folly ” Quinta da Regaleira” a beautiful Palace from the 19th century that satisfies every sense and even has a Kangaroo sculpture and a Norfolk island pine tree.
Sintra is also home to the National palace of Sintra and the incomparable Pena National Palace that is like something out of a fairy tale and was the inspiration for many of walt Disney’s fantasy castles.
We finished off our Portuguese visit in Cabanas on the Algarve coast and visited Tavira before heading to Spain.