Published: May 31st 2012May 31st 2012
Our Time in Lisbon...
After a stop over in Turkey, a night in Barcelona, some extremely dodgy flights and an hour and a half wait for our bags we finally arrived in Lisbon. Our first day in Lisbon was jam packed; first we set out to explore the lush verdant hills of Sintra. Sintra is a Unesco World Heritage site and its fairy tale like setting was a perfect introduction to Portugal. While at Sintra we got our blood sugar levels up by trying a famous local pastry, the queijada and cherry liquor in a chocolate cup!
After our sugar fix we took a leisurely stroll through the romantic city centre. Then we headed to one of the best kept secrets in Portugal, "Qunita da Regaleira". The palace and surrounding gardens were truly magical with mythological landscapes, underground caves, and an underground tower. This was definitely a highlight! We stopped for lunch at a farmers market where we ate local goat cheese, salami bread and drank red wine.
After lunch, we hit the road winding through the trees in "Serra de Sintra." From there we went to Cabo Da
Roca the most western point of mainland Europe. The seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean provided a beautiful view. After we drove down to the wind swept dunes of "Guincho" Beach, where our tour guide decided to hit a few waves while we relaxed on the beach. Next we explored the beach side town of Cascais and sampled some delicious ice cream. On the way back into Lisbon we stopped at Belem to sample the famous Pastel de "Belem” , a custard tart. The line up for the treat went around the block , we were told that on an average day the shop sells 40,000 of these custard tarts. Overall it was one of the best days of our year so far and it was great to spend so much time in the sun!
Once we had made our way back into Lisbon we still had five hours of light left (the sun doesn’t go down until 10pm) so we walked through the main streets to the waterfront. The following day we did a free walking tour of Lisbon. The guide was fantastic and had some interesting stories to tell about the history of the city.
We saw a lot of the major sites as well as some of the impacts from the 18th
century Earthquake which was a 9.0 on the rictor scale and lasted 9mins. Much of the city was destroyed however the suburb of Elfama was relatively unharmed. We really enjoyed walking around this area. On our last day in Lisbon we returned to Elfama for the flea markets which went for miles and were filled with treasures. I found a great summer dress for 2euro and a bangle for 1euro and Aaron had numerous offers of undesirable treats (obviously looking dodgy after so much sun). Later we took the metro to the cascade where we relaxed in the park.
We are now off to catch our first night bus to Seville!
There are more photos below