Had a bit of a sleep in again today after a lateish night out, but it actually worked out quite well as quite a lot of stuff is closed on Sundays. I took the metro to a park that over looks the city and the Marquis do Pombal statue and sat there for a little while in the sun, then headed back to the hostel with the intent of going out to Belem, but the Wimbledon final was on so I decided to watch that.
It turned out to be a good choice as the ticket offices for the tram are closed on Sundays and it’s a lot more expensive to buy them on the tram. It was also getting pretty late by the end of the tennis. Also, the things I wanted to see in Belem are free on Sunday’s, but this would have meant they were packed with people which isn’t too fun.
The next day after another night out, at the docks this time, it was another slow start to the morning.
I joined up with 3 argentinians and took the regional train out to Sintra. The cultural landscape of Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s easy to see why, everything there looks good. All the beautiful buildings and palaces are set into the trees, with little cobblestone streets connecting them.
As the places we wanted to see were up the top of the hill, we intended to take the bus up. We got about 3/4 of the way when the bus started making a strange noise. The driver asked for some of the people to get off and he tried again. Nope. More people got off the bus. Still not working. Everyone off the bus… and walk the rest of the way. Luckily it wasn’t too far.
The palace was built by Dona Maria II, Queen of Portugal and lived in by her, King Pedro V, King Louis I, King Carlos I (who’s wife Amelia, in our opinion, looked like a man), and King Manuel II until the revolution in 1910.
The palace was an architectural style that I haven’t seen before, there was a lot of colour, arches etc that is best described as eclectic. It was a very photogenic building :)
After some time there, we headed down the hill to Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle).
Castelo dos Mouros is an old military fort, believed to date back to the 9th century and the period of Arabic occupation. It also had incredible views out over Sintra, Lisbon and the coast. We trekked up and down a lot of stairs, and again no safety procautions! There was one tower that we went up to where the stairs were only about 18″ wide! Eekk!
By this time it was starting to get a bit late, so we caught the bus back down to the historic centre, and after failing to find any pretty postcards, we walked back along the pretty streets to the train station.
It only takes about 45 minutes in the train from Rossio station, so if you’re in Lisbon, I definitely recommend going there!
After a lot of walking this day, I was in need of a quiet night so after finding a shop that sold Pao de Queijo (cheese bread from Brasil), brigadeiro (Brazilian chocolate) and Guarana (soft drink also from Brasil) I was sorted for dinner and that was me for the night.