2.5 Days in Lisbon, Portugal (& Sintra!) [Part II]

If you’re just catching up, CLICK HERE for Part I of my grand solo adventure to Lisboa.

I woke up the second day feeling like a brand, spankin-new woman.  I felt well-rested and like I had some life in me, unlike the day before!  I got dressed and basically ran to breakfast since I was starving.  The hostel includes breakfast, but it’s your standard choice of allthecarbs.  So I had….2 pieces of bread, a bowl of cereal, a croissant, and a pancake. Because I’m on a diet.IMG_2905

Day two was the day I went to Sintra, which is a town about 40 minutes (by train) out of Lisboa.  I wasn’t actually planning on going there when I decided to go to Lisboa, but I overheard people talking about it at the hostel and they said that not going to Sintra while in Lisboa is like going to the U.S but skipping the Statue of Liberty.  You’re already there…DSC_0300

They also told me that it’s better to have less time in Lisboa and use one day to see Sintra than to have so much time in Lisboa.  And they were so so right.  I was SO HAPPY I went, since Sintra was absolutely breathtaking.DSC_0342

And! There was so much hiking that we did.  We covered around 13 miles over the course of the day and I couldn’t have been happier.

I went to Sintra with a Bulgarian guy (that lives in Edinborough).  He was planning to go to Sintra the next day and since I was talking about it too, he asked if I wanted to join.  That is what is so, so cool about hostels- you can do your own thing, but you will also meet people that want to travel too.  My initial Tamara reaction was to say no because I’m a hermit, but I said yes, and again- glad I did.  He was interesting to talk to and the day flew by.  And I would have been a lot less likely to go hiking up any mountains looking for castles if he hadn’t been there.

We met early in the morning, headed to the train station…DSC_0283

The train station is in that building!  So we bought our tickets, then went to Starbucks for proper coffees.  I had my first Americano since coming to Spain and it was a-ma-zing.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I miss big coffees with all my heart haha.  We took the train to Sintra and I spent the 40 minute ride looking out the window at the various towns we passed through.  Heading out of the city center gives you a real perception of a city.  It’s so easy to forget that when we travel, we see all of the tourist places and less of the “real life”.  If you go to Philadelphia and you only stay in Center City, you really haven’t gotten the full Philly picture.  Same for Portugal, I think.

So.  Sintra!DSC_0291

The first thing we did was head to the tourist information center to buy tickets for the Pena National Palace.  We bought a combination ticket that allowed us to enter the grounds of the palace, which are full of beautifully manicured trails, as well as the palace itself.  Both my new amigo and I agreed that in hindsight, we would have been okay with just the grounds ticket, as going inside the palace wasn’t all that wonderful for us.  Obviously, it’s an incredible place, but we would have been happy without it.

So we hiked all the way up to the palace, allllll the way from Sintra.DSC_0308

It didn’t take quite as long as we thought it would- less than an hour, but it was a steep climb, which had be sweating (and so happy!  I missed hiking!)IMG_2854DSC_0315 DSC_0306

During our whole trek, we thought we were going to THIS palace:DSC_0321

And were super surprised when we ended up at THIS palace… DISNEY WORLD, is that you?!DSC_0336

The colors of the palace were out of this world and looked amazing with the blue and white backdrop that the sky provided.  This castle sure is fit for a princess….DSC_0331 DSC_0333 DSC_0338 DSC_0337

How about some lunch on that terrace?

We snapped some pictures of the landscape…DSC_0339

And then headed inside the palace for a quick walking tour.  I didn’t think their information plaques were particularly well done, as they used a lot of language that isn’t easily understandable to people with pea brains like yours truly.IMG_2865DSC_0346 DSC_0347 DSC_0356 DSC_0357 DSC_0351 DSC_0362 DSC_0363


After walking the grounds and some lunch on that patio seen above, we journeyed allllll the way back down the mountain in search of our next stop!DSC_0371

We stumbled upon the “valley of lakes”DSC_0374 DSC_0375

More like the “valley of the miniature golf ponds” if you ask me.

After that, we continued walking back towards Sintra until we arrived at Quinta de Regaleira, a beautiful garden and estate.DSC_0395

Calling the grounds a garden doesn’t actually do it any justice.  The grounds were enormous and incredible.  We were able to hike up, down, in, out, and around the entire place.  We were pretty spent by this point, but we managed to see a number of beautiful places here.DSC_0399 DSC_0382 DSC_0401

We went searching for a well that is 27 meters deep with an entrance located behind a secret revolving door made of stone.  We would have never noticed the door had a guide not pointed it out!!DSC_0403 DSC_0404

You better bet I held onto my camera for dear life taking those pictures!  Then we climbed all those (slippery and wet) steps to the bottom!  And took a reverse picture!DSC_0410

From the bottom of the wells are a bunch of hidden tunnels leading to other parts of the property!  It was so, so cool, and completely dark!  We had to use our phones to light the way.  I bet the families that used to live there did that too.  Eventually, we found an exit… some sort of midevil joke.  We had to cross these stones in order to get back to land.  I was a nervous wreck with my camera and phone and everything that is important to me!  I said a quick prayer and went for it hahaDSC_0414

That lady casually stopped for a photo and I got off those damn rocks as soon as my little legs would take me.

We did a bit more walking and exploring…DSC_0417 DSC_0419 DSC_0420 DSC_0424

And then we headed back into Sintra for arguably the most important part of the day…DSC_0431

Portugese pastries!!

I ordered two that are from Sintra and ate both of them while they were still warm.  Amazing and delicious.

We took the train back to Lisboa and walked to the water to watch the sun set before going back to the hostel for dinner and to sit down (I needed it, badly).DSC_0438 DSC_0476 DSC_0487 DSC_0484

The pictures look different because I was adjusting the settings on my camera 🙂

So that’s it!  It was a long day and this post reflects that, but I loved every minute of it.  Sintra was a beautiful little town and 100% worth the trip if you ever find yourself in Lisboa (especially if you enjoy hiking!)

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