Blogs from Sintra, Lisbon & Tagus Valley, Portugal, Europe


Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Sintra December 19th 2020

November 7, 2019 Our ship sailed in towards Lisbon around 9am on the brackish River Tagus which meets the ocean at the lighthouse. I was surprised to learn that Lisbon is not on the ocean. Seeing things first hand is a constant history and geography lesson. As we entered the river we passed under their iconic 25th of April Bridge, a replica of our own iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The bright red 25th of April Bridge is named for the celebration of the end of dictatorship and day of liberty (April 25, 1974). It is the longest suspension bridge in Europe. The Bridge has two levels, one for cars and the other for a train on the lower level. We were told there are frequent traffic jams. Unlike the bridge in San Francisco, ... read more
Christo Rei, Lisbon
First glimpses of beautiful Lisbon
Aguas Livres Aqueduct taken from the bus

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Sintra April 18th 2018

OK, maybe the late movie wasn't such a good idea but we all awoke in good moods. How could a train ride through the Portugal countryside make you sad? Glen and Karen left early to look for something at the Flea Market, and then they would meet us about an hour later in Sintra. Mike and I set off via Metro to the main train station in Rossio. Even in Portuguese, the trains and platforms were clearly marked. Our Metro cards also worked on the trains so no dealing with the ticket machines. Platform 3, 9:41am train! Easy peasy. Mike was happy to announce that the mosaic floors were "prison clean" with someone knowing their way around a buffer! After a pleasant ride, we got off at Sintra and went in search of the 434 bus ... read more
Historic Sintra
Lower Sintra neighborhood

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Sintra April 5th 2018

Pour nos 5 ans de mariage,nous avons décidé de nous offrir un petit périple outre-mer en «presque» amoureux... Presque, c'est parce que nous sommes partis avec «juste» notre petite Mélie de 6 mois et avons laissé nos deux grandes de 2 et 3 ans aux bons soins de grand-maman... Ça devait donc être relativement «simple» et «facile» avec «juste» un bébé...La preuve que tout est relatif dans la vie, particulièrement après 3 enfants... Tsé, y'a rien là un vol transatlantique avec le jetlag et cie avec un bébé de 6 mois... En prime, on est parti juste avec nos bagages à main, pas de grosse valise, rien de tout ça... On est des brutes je vous dis! Après un vol de nuit où bébé Mélie a dormi un gros 5 heures sur 6 (c'est une brute ... read more
Sintra, nous voilà
Tour inversée, Quinta da Regaleira

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Sintra September 26th 2017

We decide that today we will visit the town of Sintra, which is a half hour train ride from Lisbon. We kill some time waiting for our train wandering through the very large and attractive Rossio Square which is next to the station. We pass through Benfica station; Benfica is Portugal's most famous and successful soccer team. We read that it has fourteen million supporters worldwide, which is more than Portugal's population. The taxi driver who drove us from the airport told us that Portuguese people only go crazy when they are doing two things - driving and watching soccer. Benfica was particularly successful in the 1960s when Eusebio, who is generally regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time, played for them. Our taxi driver told us that he is buried in ... read more
Fountain, Praca Rossio, Lisbon
Fountain, Praca Rossio, Lisbon
Palacio Nacional de Sintra

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Sintra October 14th 2016

Bom Dia, I left Evora in the early morning, which was really pleasant because it was not too warm yet, and i was able to get a beutiful view of the stars as there is very little light pollution on the Alentejo. I arrived in Lisbon during rush hour, which was not ideal, but after watching three metro trains pass by full, I managed to squeeze into one and get to my hostel. After meeting Joao and Jorge, two of the incredibly friendly and helpful staff, I dropped off my stuff and then ran off to the beautiful Rossio train station as I was racing off to Sintra to meet up with Daniella and Sandro, two friends I had made in Porto. After the 45 minute train ride west towards the coast, I hopped in a ... read more
Best. Doorknocker. Ever!!!
Castelo dos Mouros
The View of Sintra

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Sintra April 22nd 2016

Hello again to those folks that are anxiously awaiting brilliant and incisive information about Lisbon and all the other places that I'm probably going to write about over the next week or so. Well, keep waiting, or go to Andrew Harper or Lonely Planet or Fodors. They're pros. I'm just an amateur not terribly interested in whether you gain any real knowledge by reading this. On the other hand, I'm not trying to sell books or hotel rooms. But as long as you're here, I'll bet you give me a minute or two and that's all I'm going to take. For those of you surprised to see this popping up on your screen, Fran and I are about to embark on our first cruise, a National Geographic trip from Lisbon to Barcelona with a bunch of ... read more
Rotary Everywhere
Ready for Dinner in Lisbon
Ice cream

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Sintra April 14th 2016

We are starting to wonder if the weather gods might just be planning against us when it comes to visiting the ‘big’ attractions as we awoke this morning to steady light rain and a rather grey, sullen sky. Time first then for some administration and once breakfast was over it was time to tackle the front loader washing machine in the hope that we choose a cycle that won’t take half the day to complete. Mila obviously had her spot inside the back door where the washing machine was when it was raining. The hot water boiler was also there and it was nice and warm as well as dry. The only problem she is a big dog and Gretchen needed to share the space in getting the washing into the machine. While Gretchen is not ... read more
Twin conical chimneys atop the National Palace
Keeping dry in the Swan Room
The Swan Room,National Palace

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Sintra September 27th 2015

One of my daily thoughts for the day written by Thich Nhat Hanh says that I should smile and I was trying to do that, to breathe, yes I was breathing very deeply and finally go slowly. As far as going slowly that seemed impossible in Sintra. Wherever you were there were crowds. You could not get away from them. They hustled and bustled on the hop on , hop off buses, on the little taxis that furrowed a path through town and they crowded into every shop, café and palace. You needed to smile and to breathe in very slowly before trying to move on. On top of all that my bum was painful as the bruise spread like a wildfire in the Australian bush. It was slowly but surely turning my rear end purple. ... read more
Another view and another set of colours
More blue and yellow
fantasy towers

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Sintra September 27th 2015

Having caught the bus back to our starting point we joined the rather long queue for the bus to Monseratte Palace. The queue stretched along the block and past the train station. Rather than four bus stops the one had to cater for those doing the Pena Castle loop, the trip to the coast at Cabo Roca, the bus to Cascais and the one we were waiting for which was the bus for Monserraz. We checked the timetable and the arrival time came and went with no sign of our bus. Eventually it turned up and we were two of a handful going to our destination. On our way we passed the Reghleira Palace. built at the start of the 20th century and was the brainchild of its owner Monteirio and the Italian architect Manini. Full ... read more
The entrance to the palace
The hall dome
One of the many hallways

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Sintra September 26th 2015

We are up to almost the half way point of the holiday . Thoughts so far . After bad start to the weather it has improved and it was positively steaming by the time we arrived at our campsite Camping Lisboa. My sun tan is coming along nicely . Worried by the tolls we went through more of them today which could mean more arguing with the Portuguese and more talking to Germany and Tolltickets. It has spoilt the holiday so far worrying about them. We even crossed the Tagus on the bridge with Christ the Redemer looking down on us. Not a squeak did the box make. Glenn has been unwell with severe stomach ache and this has made life a bit difficult at times. The air pressure in the new suspension let itself down ... read more
The Royal Palace
The Moorish Castle
The Moorish castle - shades of San Marino

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