2018-09-21 Hotel Da Baixa, Lisbon, Portugal Once again we pass the noble statue of Marques de Pombal as we depart Lisbon for the day with a driver whom we organised to take us to the resort town of Sintra and to a couple of other places on the coast Sintra is situated approximately 30 kms slightly north west of Lisbon Once we arrived in Sintra our first stop was to go to visit the hilltop 19th Century Pena National palace One could walk or take the bus to the palace ….. we decided to take the bus as there were very few people in the queue in front of us Within 20 minutes of arriving the queue behind us was enormous After a short bus trip ….. we certainly should have walked ….. we catch our first glimpse of the spectacular palace The Pena National Palace has been built in the Romanesque Revival and Neo-Manueline Architectural styles The colours and the design of the palace are almost as if they are straight from a fairytale book The views towards the Atlantic Ocean from the palace were quite magnificent We were able to enter the palace and view many of the rooms We were so pleased we had come early at opening time, as the queue had grown considerably in number and it was getting hotter with sun being quite strong The palace was certainly a photographer’s paradise One was also able to have snacks, drinks and lunch at the palace After spending nearly 2 hours visiting the wonderful Pena National Palace we chose to walk back down to the entrance of the site We pass beautifully manicured gardens Our driver collected us at the gate and we continued down into Sintra We stop for a coffee in our driver’s favourite coffee shop and we sample these delicious pastries Sintra is a very busy delightful small Portuguese town situated within the hills of the Serra de Sintra Hidden in the pine covered hills around the town are extravagant palaces, opulent mansions, ancient castle ruins Here we stand in front of the Palacio Nacional de Sintra which is a Gothic palace with quite a history Nearby is the Quinta da Regaleira which is a lavish mansion with stunning gardens There are some beautiful scenery around this area of Portugal We continue on our tour and head towards the coast With quite a lot of traffic on the road, our driver fortunately is very familiar with the small narrow roads in this area It is not long before we reach Cape Roca which is the western most point of Portugal and also the western most point of all of Europe Ric with our delightful Portuguese tour guide who speaks perfect English The scenery here at Cape Roca is absolutely magnificent The wind was quite cool and strong during our visit We return to the vehicle and continue our drive heading south down the coast We stop to have a look at the spectacular sandy Quincho Beach Looking towards the fabulous Hotel Fortaleza do Quincho As we continue down the coast our next stop is Boca do Inferno Boca do Inferno or Hell’s Mouth is a popular tourist attraction with fabulous rugged coastal scenery. There is a chasm formed by a collapsed cave that allows seawater to enter and crash vigorously on the rocky walls which is spectacular to see at times This coast is well known for it’s powerful Atlantic seas however today the sea is reasonably calm. One can only imagine how amazing it would be at times!! A fisherman with his collection of rods!! Luckily no big waves today !! We visit the town of Cascais only 2 kms south from Boco do Inferno Cascais is a delightful Portuguese fishing town with a charming town centre Situated by a popular beach near the entrance to Tagus River the massive 16th Century Sao Juliano da Barra Fort is the largest and most complete military defence complex in the Vauban style remaining in Portugal. It is currently the official residence of the Minister of National Defence The Fort of Sao Lourenco do Bugio, which has a lighthouse, is situated in the middle of the waters at the mouth of the Tagus River which leads up to Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon It is not long before we see the well known Lisbon bridge called Ponte 25 de Abril We pass the Tower of Belem looking across to ‘Santuario de Cristo Rei’ We are almost back to the hotel after a fantastic day of sightseeing Later in the evening, after making a booking, we head out for dinner We arrive in Praça Luis de Camoes, a quaint city square which is a popular meeting place and has a casual cafe/bar. The statue is of a 16th century legendary poet We decide to stop for a drink in the square before making our way to the restaurant which we had booked nearby We arrive at La Brasserie de L’Entrecote which is a French style steakhouse ….. there is some scaffolding surrounded the entrance which looks like there is work in progress on the exterior of the building The restaurant had a definite old world feel to it with it’s large mirrors, white linen tablecloths and classically dressed waiters A delightful selection of pastes arrive to accompany the house made bread We order some gravlax salmon for entree to share Our waiter serves us a traditional chateaubriand served with the special house green pepper sauce Fabulous french fries are served with our meat dish We order an extra salad to accompany the food The mirrors were quite amazing in the restaurant On our way back to our hotel we pass the famous Elevador de Santa Justa which is a 19th century elevator that one can take up to the higher level to see the wonderful views over the city At night the streets are full of well patronised restaurants Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. 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