Friday, June 7, 2013

10th Anniversary Trip Part 4 - Sintra

On Thursday, May 30th, we were up bright and early to leave the Algarve and drive 3 hours to Lisbon.  We returned the car to the Lisbon airport, caught a bus to our hotel, checked in and then promptly jumped on a train to Sintra, a town about 30 minutes outside of Lisbon filled with castles.  In total there are three castles in Sintra but we only made it to two.  The first was the Pena Palace, built in the 1800s for the royalty by a German architect.  It's often described as a "Disney Palace" because of it's colorful design.  They day we were there was fairly chilly, cloudy and WINDY.  We were able to appreciate it, though I think we could have appreciated it more if it had been a little warmer :)
 A picture of the two of us by the palace:
 Brian on the palace wall:
Lauren at the palace:

After the Pena Palace, we hiked up through their forest grounds to the High Cross:
 Which provided great views of the palace from above:
And next we hiked down to the 1,000 year old Moorish castle, which gave great views of the Pena Palace from down below:
Here are the Moorish ruins from afar:
And up close:
The sun finally started peeking out towards the very end of the day, which I was thankful for.  All in all, we enjoyed Sintra  and the castles that we got to see.
We returned to Lisbon in the late afternoon to do a little more sightseeing and hit up one of the restaurants that Peter had recommended, which was called Tasca de Esquina.  And the recommended meal is to get the 4-5 course chef's tasting menu . . . which means we had no idea what we were going to be getting to eat with each course.  It forced me to try some things which I might never have tried and everything was really good.  Brian got the 5 course meal while I was full after 4 courses.  We would never have stumbled upon this restaurant without Peter's recommendation (it was a good 1.5 miles from our hotel) and we loved it.

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