Monday, January 3, 2011

Sintra- Lisbon- Day 2

Unlike yesterday's blue skies, we were greeted with clouds and a light rain.  No matter-an adventure awaited.  We caught the train to Sintra and arrived about 10:30.  Sintra is about 45 minutes away from Lisbon by train and a very beautiful city.  The mixture of architecture and nature gives the city a very old world mystic.
     Our first adventure took us on a 1hour hike to the top of the mountain to the Mouros Castle.  As you wind your way through the nature, you realize that you are out of shape.  How people did this on a regular basis is beyond me.  According to my pedometer, the 30,000 steps I took that day, I think a majority of them were used to get up and down the mountain.
     The castle ruins are amazing.  It almost feels like you are walking on the great wall of China.  Luckily we got there early enough so there weren't many other people there.  It was perfect to take pictures because there were not random tourists in my shots.  After the castle, we walked around Sintra and had lunch at a little cafe.  The was ok and definitely over priced.  In Portugal, waiters will put olives, bread, cheese, etc on your plate as an appetizer but it is not free.  You get charged a lot of money for what you eat.  Luckily I knew that before we arrived so I always declined the pre meal.

     Our adventure hit a snag when it started to down poor but luckily we had our umbrellas and good walking shoes to high tail it back to the train station.  It was 4:30 by the time we got back to Lisbon and it was a long day of walking sight seeing.  We decided to make pasta and chill at the hostel for the night.  I have been in the Czech Republic for over 4 months and have never gotten sick UNTIL Dec. 25th.  The 25th, 26th, and 27th were miserable.  My nose wouldn't stop running and I don't think there was any skin left on my nose but I wouldn't let it ruin my trip.  Being able to just chill at the hostel was just what the doctor ordered.
historic area
view of castle at top of hill
architecture in Sintra
 Never made it into this building but I would recommend it to everyone else
 just the local bus stop.....pretty nice and the tile work is brilliant
ha....a Portuguese giraffe...couldn't resist taking the picture
 downtown historical area
on our walk to the castle from the train station
view from our walk from the train station

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