Only 999 things left to do before I die...
We spent our last day in Lisbon actually in Sintra, a royal escape 15 miles northwest of Lisbon,
But first, let's pick up supplies at the supermarket in Lisbon. The fish are everywhere!
Sintra train station. When you get off here, there's a bus right outside to the castle. You will say "4.50 EURO PER PERSON FOR A BUS RIDE!" Trust me, pay it. Especially if you have only a day because Sintra, like the rest of Portugal, is uphill in all directions.
Palácio de Pena or Castelo da Pena (Pena Palace) grounds
OH MY GOD! Megan found a castle!
Built in the 1800s by Prince Ferdinand, cousin of "Mad" King Ludwig of Bavaria, it's a crazy castle of varying styles and fantasy.
Originally, the grounds were a wooden monastery for monks. In 1498, King Manuel saw Vasco de Gama returning from India and decided to build a stone monastery in celebration. Sometime after that, came this castle
Just as crazy and beautiful on the inside. Unfortunately, no pictures allowed...
Megan and tile!
Heading into Pena Palace Park. It's a fairly extensive area with all sorts of exotic plants, gardens, lakes, quiet areas and all.
Hiking up to the Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle)
Don't even know what castle this is. This area is just littered with castles...
Skull and crossbones! BEWARE!
The Moorish Castle is about 1,000 years old. Christians took it over in 1147. Was restored in the 1700s and has amazing views of everything.
Hey! We were at the castle a little bit ago.
This castle kept going higher and higher...
Us with Pena Palace behind
This is about when Megan yelled at me to stop taking photos of her and some other tourist thought we wanted a picture together (no knowing that we have a photo stick). "No thanks. He's just driving me crazy." It's what all good husbands do...
Some archeology work going on
Palácio Nacional (National Palace). It started as a Moor castle, but was mostly constructed in the 1400s by King João I. It housed royalty for about 500 years and is still used for official state functions.
The town of Sintra
The cones are chimneys for the kitchen. They were designed like this for extra suction to get the smoke out. You'll see why later, but I want you to remember these...
MORE TILE! You can't go anywhere in Portugal and not see ornate tile.
The Magpie Room. King João I kissed some lady and the queen caught him. This caused a lot of gossip and so he had these magpies painted on the ceiling to taunt/insult them.
Tile from Moorish Spain (from before the formation of the Portuguese tile industry).
Very, very early examples of Portuguese tile
The Stag Room. It's the "westernmost room in the westernmost palace on the European continent" according to Rick Steves.
It doesn't read well in this picture, but this walkway is only about 4 feet tall.
The castle kitchen
These copper pots were on our wedding registry...
The cone chimney from the inside
Why did they need these, you ask?
Here's the spit which they used to roast an entire cow at a time.
Where they served the entire cow...
A strange figure deep in the maze trying to find the WC (bathroom)
Another castle on the way to see another castle...
Monserrate gardens are pretty amazing.
A waterfall that was "commanded" to be built
Tree Ferns, which only grow here and one other place in the world
An interesting irrigation system
This is the ruins of a church. Some places we saw it was real and some said it was fake. It apparently was the location from some famous piece of Portuguese literature. I'm inclined to believe it's fake because it's too perfect. But, still great
The first grass lawn in all of Portugal. Underneath the grass is a crazy irrigation system to make sure the grass doesn't turn brown in all the heat. What makes it crazy? I don't know because the little pamphlet didn't say.
The sun reflecting off our very white skin.
A beautiful castle that is in the process of being restored. The inside is super detailed, Islamic inspired, lace-like plaster. No pictures allowed on the inside, so you will have to go to see it yourself.
The castle shed...
Some cool building in Sintra. Maybe a city hall?
A lighthouse house
Such strange plants. Look at the bark
Back at Rossio Train Station in Lisbon
Megasex was apparently so successful that they made the sequel Megasex II
Banco Espirito Santo (Holy Spirit Bank). Do they work on tithes? Are the tellers priests? Can you really complain about the interest rates?
Our last time at Rossio Square hanging out in a bus stop with a gypsy feeding a whole chicken to his very well behaved German Shepherd.
From our Lua de Mel (honeymoon) upgrade. Champagne and trail mix!
NEXT STOP: Porto