Lisbon and Sintra

15 – 22 August 2016

Lisbon and Sintra

A day later than intended and with an American stowaway on board we made the short trip up the Rio Tejo from Cascais to Lisbon.

Passing under the Ponte 25 de Abril you hear a noise like swarms of very angry bees from the traffic on the metal surface and we had our first glimpses at the city’s sights.

We moored at the marina in Parque das Nacoes. Our harbour pets included this duck family who competed with the fish for bread.

 The marina was quiet and had seen better days but the facilities were good and we were close to the airport for the arrival of Richard, our first guest from home to join us.

Having collected Richard from the airport we immediately introduced him to our new routine with a trip to the supermarket to arrange a delivery. It meant a walk through the area developed for the Expo in 1998 with its cable car and the Vasco da Gama bridge, the longest bridge in Europe.

Despite feeling like it had been a little abandoned, the area had some gorgeous public areas and architecture – including the spectacular roof at the Gare do Oriente.

With my friend and Lisbon resident, Davina, as tour guide we hit the tiled streets of the city.

Michael persuaded us to make a stop at the Magnum Pleasure Store where we got to have our own customised Magnums!

Most of our tour was on foot but we did get to go on a tram and make use of the lifts (paid for by the city’s casinos) which avoid the many hills. Davina delivered the impossible in Lisbon – a full day’s walking tour without a single hill!

And she also delivered a view around every corner.

The tour ended watching sunset over the city and with a delicious Portuguese meal in a restaurant only a local could find.

Richard and I spent time looking at gorgeous, shiny things in the Gulbenkian museum

including lots of beautiful Lalique pieces

and a eye popping tapestry.

Whilst in Lisbon we took the train out to Sintra with its fairytale palaces.

A 9th century Moorish castle on top of a hill was a temptation we could not resist. This hill seriously tested our calves on the way down – it was a steep climb and we needed lots of rest stops!

The palace with the strange white chimneys was even more beautiful inside.

The grottos and benches in the garden hadn’t avoided the tiler either.

On Richard’s last day with us we headed for Belem where we started with breakfast at the famous Antiga Confeitaria de Belem followed by a mooch around the market stalls where we found these creepy dolls.

We had a walk around the Manueline splendour of the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and Tour de Belem

but our best find was the free Museu Coleccao Berardo. A museum of wall to wall modern art favourites – Miro, De Stijl, Dali and Andy Warhol. It also offered a handy water sculpture for cooling down on a hot Lisbon day.

Even the steets around the museum offered art of their own.

 Having waved Richard off we were on our own again but we knew the Germans were lurking further down the coast and so we headed off to join them. Pintail delivered another incredible river cruise through all the sights.

Including a return trip under the bridge of bees and passed Lisbon’s answer to Rio’s statue of Christ

 Unexpectedly we were reunited with the Stormschnitzels also heading out of the river in typical full sail style. We were able to shout greetings and make plans to meet up in the next place….

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View from our mooring in Parque das Nacoes.

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