Playing Princess

13 March

We’re going to Sintra!

For breakfast we just stopped at a Starbucks next to the train station – so touristy. The train station we left from was the Rossio station and the building is so pretty!

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The train to Sintra was only 5 euros round-trip and about 40 minutes long each way. We talked to a couple from Canada on the train who were on their spring break. They were both teachers, one for history and the other for french and spanish.

Once we arrived in Sintra we walked from the train station into the old town. The whole city sits on a mountain near the ocean so there was a lot of uphill walking.

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From the old town we took a bus to the top of the mountain where the palace and castle are. We started with the Castelo dos Mouros. This castle is a Moorish castle like the one in Lisbon. The castle was winding and the parts left were mostly foundations of walls or the castle walls themselves. The castle had amazing views of the ocean far below at the bottom on the mountain and views of the palace just a little above.

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We walked up the mountain further until we reached the top and the Palácio Nacional da Pena. The palace was so insanely gorgeous. It was tiled and molded and colorful – all the things you’d want in a palace. It was all the primary colors in their most brilliant form. I wish I was royalty summering in that palace every year.

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The inside was just as overwhelmingly beautiful as the outside with the same design style. The walls were so intricate and the furniture was fit for a queen.

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We took a ton of photos with the amazing color and tile and then ate lunch in the palace cafe to pretend we were royalty for as long as possible. Photo overload.

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Pretending we were princess had to end at some point though so we made our way down the mountain back to the historical center. We checked out a number of cute shops which all seemed to sell a lot of cork products – coasters, postcards, shoes, and bags. We got gelato for the third day in a row and sat at the National Palace (a different, more modern palace) admiring the view.

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On the way back to the train we got a snack for the ride consisting of bright red, fresh strawberries. Feels like summer!

I fell asleep on the train ride back to Lisboa and when we arrived back we went for a little siesta in our hotel – when in Portugal right? I mean we are on ‘vacation.’

When we woke up we found a place for dinner called Atalho Real. They are a super popular burger place – I know, where’s the seafood? But I’ll tell you what. Traveling with someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy seafood and can eat at max 4 shrimp can be extremely challenging. So we got burgers – sue me.

Anyway, this place takes a certain cut of meat and grinds it into a burger so the meat itself is 10x more delicious than normal ground beef. Then they just do the whole classic burger and chips thing well. I imagine a steak from there would have been equally delightful but ya know… budgeting.

After dinner we went to… guess where! Fabrica de Nata! We got two more natas each to tighten up our pants.

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Tomorrow we leave Lisbon – oh how I’ll miss this city.

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