France and Portugal Vacation: 11 May 2023 - A Day in Sintra


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Thursday, May 11 - A Day in Sintra

Since our late arrival on Wednesday meant that our Thursday breakfast was scheduled later than we would have liked, our day started a little later than usual. Breakfast was pretty awesome each day, though – served room-service style, a full spread of various offerings: a vegetable item such as avocado and mixed greens with mozzarella, a bread basket, fresh fruit juice, cheese and meat plate, breakfast bread, sweet bread, eggs, bacon, jams, jellies, and tea or coffee – the works. Delicious! The hotel schedules each guest room's breakfast, trying to fit everyones's requests, but ours had to be a fairly late 9:30 slot this first morning.

We then met Tracey at 11:00 am at the train station. We purchased "Lisboa Cards", transport and access cards that covered all Lisbon transportation including buses, trolleys, and subway lines, plus discounts and "free/included" admission at various popular points of interest! Even the 45-minute-long train ride out to the nearby town of Sintra was included!

Photos from Thursday morning (9 images)

Upon arrival in Sintra, we walked up to the central government building Sintra National Palace and just viewed it from the outside. Then we followed the road up the hill to the Quinta da Regaleria, an extensive hilly park area with gardens and statues and terraces and such, ending at the mansion, one of the main attractions of the grounds.

Photos from the afternoon in Sintra (73 images)

We ate a late lunch at a small restaurant called Estrada Velha, then ventured onward to one of the major sites of the area, Pena Palace. This was King Ferdinand's palace, a hodge podge of architectural styles, flavors, and colors. Quite a site! It was extremely crowded, and for the most part the flow was contrained to moving single-file on a regulated route through the buildings, but was worth the visit. The palace is situated on the top of one of the hills, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area including the town below. Then we actually walked back down the hill, partially along winding roads and partially down hiking trails, to the train station, strolling through some of the city's residential areas along the way. Photos from Pena Palace (69 images) Photos from Thursday evening in Sintra (5 images)

Before parting ways with Tracey, we made some future plans before she headed home, and we headed back toward our hotel. Wandering our way back to the hotel via a route we hadn't walked before, we grabbed some to-go pizza for dinner and turned in around 8:30 pm.

Photos from Thursday evening in Lisbon (5 images)

On to the next day >