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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
How about some lunch on that terrace?
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.
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.
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.
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 haha
That lady casually stopped for a photo and I got off those damn rocks as soon as my little legs would take me.
I ordered two that are from Sintra and ate both of them while they were still warm. Amazing and delicious.
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!)