Adventures in Southern Portugal and Spain

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January 7th 2020
Published: January 9th 2020
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Traveling with 8 friends, I arrived in Lisbon early yesterday. We've already seen and done a lot. First impressions: warm, friendly people, lots of sun and warmer than NJ, delicious custard tarts and ginjin (sour cherry liquor) and if you've seen one castle or palace, you haven't seen them all.
On our first day after landing at 8am, we went on a walking tour of Lisbon with Pedro. We wondered through the historic and shopping neighborhoods of Baxia, Chiado, and Bario Alto. On our own we took the train to Belem to see the Jeronimo Monastery and Church. Too bad they were closed. We got to look at the buildings and headed back to the hotel via train and metro. Quite an accomplishment for having just arrived! We had dinner near our hotel. The Lisboa Plaza. I had cod fish in what will be the first of many times. Exhausting but great first day.
So far, this trip's an interesting combination of a group tour and being on our own. I used Portugal Trails to book hotels and some tours following an itinerary that I found through reading Rick Steve's and others. Most importantly they gave us the driver and vehicle
Pastreria de NataPastreria de NataPastreria de Nata

Delicious, and traditional so we had to try them, custard pies.
which tuns out to be a bus.
On day 2 through Portugal Trails, we had a day trip to Sintra planned. A guide, John ,(close to this in Portugese) and a bus picked us up. My plan was for us to see the Pena Palace and a Moorish Castle, following Rick Steve's recommendation. Our guide had other ideas of places to see. I'm glad we weren't disuaded from the original plan. They were both awesome. A Cinderella/downtown Abbey like palace built in the 19th century and the walls of a huge ,9th century Castle. The day was made even more exciting when our group separated at different levels of the Castle and the challenge of reuniting with out much phone service. Lots of walking, a tuk tuk ride,and some luck got us back together.
The day ended with a delicious dinner in a restaurant in the Alfama district that included Fado music. This is traditional ballad like singing and guitar playing. It was wonderful. Two cabs later at around midnight day 2 was over.

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


Santo Domingo SquareSanto Domingo Square
Santo Domingo Square

Monument to the Jews killed in the Inquisition
Arch of TriumphArch of Triumph
Arch of Triumph

Commerce Square

10th January 2020

Great pictures of some great ladies. Love reading your posts.

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