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

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