On Monday we spent the day exploring Sintra (near Lisbon) with our amazing tour guide, Mauro, who we found through airbnb. We learned a lot and had a great time! We met up in Cascais (west of Lisbon) and hopped into his jeep. It was a cool, 1989 UMM Portuguese jeep with two benches in the back for the girls and me. We drove to Sintra where our first stop was a lovely view of the Sintra National Palace. We also saw the area where wealthy Lisboetas had summer homes in the late 19th century; many homes have since been converted to upscale hotels.
Then it was time to visit the magnificent Park and National Palace of Pena. So beautiful and interesting! We were really glad to have Mauro with us because he did a great job of explaining about the history of it. For the most part, the girls enjoyed the visit. Charlotte gets very nervous when there is a chance of falling, and she is especially protective over Luisa, so there was some tension but we all survived. 🙂
The details on the various tiles were amazing. So many different patterns and colors.
Afterwards Mauro took us to a delicious local restaurant where we got to enjoy some Portuguese specialties. Everything was delicious! Then we continued the tour, driving over to Quinta da Regaleira, an early 20th century-built palace and gardens with underground passages, a waterfall and a huge variety of trees from all around the world. The highlight was definitely the huge well we climbed down into that lead to underground tunnels.
Then we walked across the street to this gorgeous palace, Palácio de Seteais, that is now an upscale hotel. It had some really wonderful views!
We made a quick stop at Praia da Adraga before heading to our final destination, but I will leave that for the next post…