From being given roasted chestnuts upon arrival, to exploring Lisbon’s castles and old winding streets, I very well could have written a Pulitzer worthy account of our stay in Lisbon so far. However, yesterday’s day trip to Sintra was a total game changer, and I needed to share with the world.
Sintra is a town about 30 minutes from Lisbon by train, and is basically Narnia without the witches and annoying children. The area basically consists of a hilly town filled with castles, old aristocratic estates, palaces, and incredible hiking. Some of the coolest exploring a person could ever do.
We started by hiking straight up the mountain (you can take a bus if you suck) to the old Moorish Castle.
This is some of the most gorgeous adventuring I have ever done. Hiking along the castle walls actually just feels like you are hiking the great wall. You can see for miles all around, and you have an incredible view of Pena Palace. No big deal or anything, but Pena Palace is the major inspiration for the castle in Cinderella. We didn’t actually go up to the palace, but rest assured it is incredible.
After eating more snacks and heading down the mountain, we went to the Quinta da Regaleira, or the Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire. This place has a sweet romantic style palace, a chapel, and several other cool buildings. However, the real attraction is the grounds around these buildings. The estate is huge and is the most beautiful park ever. Old turrets, lakes, and twisting paths wind through the giant property. Better yet, the whole park is connected by a series of dark, creepy, underground tunnels and caves that wind through the park.
There is a whole cool history behind these caves involving Dante’s Ascension, but just exploring is good enough. One of the passages (seen below) ends at a beautiful grotto with an awesome gothic bridge and waterfall at the entrance. The only way out is to cross the water on little stepping-stones in the lake. I am all about the words normally, but in this case it is better for you all to just see.
We could have explored for another few days, but alas, time is limited!
Also cool, the town is small and artsy and has cool shops and hotels. Future honeymoon, consider yourself booked. We also had one Euro cherry liquor shots out of chocolate cups. Delicious.
Danny, David, (friends from DIS) and I have an awesome and surprisingly cheap place in the craziest part of Lisbon looking over the water. Life is good. This town is amazing, and has an awesome vibe. They also have a bridge that is known as The Golden Gate’s sister bridge. Bay whatup. Yesterday I went on a tour of the local castle that included a submarine lookout device invented by Cha boi Leonardo Da Vinci, and allows you to see a giant projection of the whole city. Its like having a huge video camera that you can move around and zoom in and out from the castle. While the tour was in Spanish, it was cooler than Ice Cube.
Quotes from the squad:
“Lisbon is like an eagle, majestic in flight, but calm and serine when not. It is beautiful and powerful at the same time. “ Danny
“If this exotic location was to be compared to an automobile, an inanimate object, it would be similar to a VW beetle and dissimilar to a Rolls Royce. The VW is considered to be culturally significant, iconic, overlooked, and cozy to be in once crossing the threshold. The Rolls Royce, despite being comfortable, is overly luxurious and is sought after by men across all professions. The Rolls is expensive, exclusive, and popular, all of which Lisbon is not. “ David