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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Experiencing the delights of Sintra

Sintra is a great place for sightseeing. It is very popular with tourists. We just visited there in September and it was still heaving with people. Parking is difficult we just had to leave our car at the side of the road on a narrow street. Sintra is known for its many 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments which have made it a Unesco World Heritage site. Of the many former royal palaces, we decided to visit just one, Quinta da Regaleira, we waited for a bus to take us to the palace but after about 15 minutes decided to walk to it which only took 20 minutes. The buildings, gardens, and sculptures are all fantastic and well worth a visit. There is a lot of walking involved in seeing all of the attraction, we did the palace, gardens, and chapel. The gardens include tunnels leading to the Initiation Wells, or inverted towers, which are underground towers with stairs. I waited for ages to try to get a photo with no one on the stairs but it was impossible, so my photos have random people in them. It took us so long to get around the place that we had to have a sit-down and coffee before making our way back to the car.

























Our accommodation for our stay in Sintra was just outside the center at a guesthouse called 'Very Quiet Place'  where we had self-contained accommodation and is an ideal place to stay if your sightseeing in Sintra, Lisbon or just visiting beaches. After a tiring day sightseeing, it is great to have a dip in the pool with a nice glass of wine.

A 'very quiet place' to chill after a day sightseeing

Monday, 18 September 2017

Atrekinthesun are back from the long hot summer

We are back with some different walks. Most will take between 2 to 3 hours and will be easier than they used to be.
We are starting an easy one on tracks around Villanueva del Trabuco which will take about 2 hours. Meet at Bar Talillas to start the walk at 9:30. Dog-friendly but some parts on road. Please leave a comment on the blog post if you will be joining us. Think you will need to be signed into a google account to comment. If you don't have one, then use anonymous and say who you are. 
Sorry forgot to put the date, it is this Wednesday 20th September.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Day trip to Lisbon



We did a trip to Lisbon for the day. As we were staying just outside Sintra we drove to the railway station Portela de Sintra, not Sintra railway station, where you can park all day for €1.50 and it is difficult to park at the other one. The journey into Lisbon took about 40 minutes and we wanted to visit the castle of Sao Jorge, which was on top of a hill not far from the station. There is a tram that you can take up to the castle, but there were so many people waiting to take it, they estimated 1 hour before you would get on a tram, so we walked it in about 20 minutes. It was well worth the walk as it is a magnificent Moorish castle overlooking the city and river Tagus and was built during the medieval period in Portugal. It was very hot and there was a queue to buy tickets but there was plenty of shade once you got in. The panoramic views over the city were very good.



Street Art on the way to the castle


and more






This is why there were so many people at the castle

Didn't quite make it back home

Rua Augusta Arch

Santa Justa Lift


We enjoyed our visit very much and then went to the cathedral which was very nice and dates back to the 4th century. During its presence, it has been occupied by many different tribes and religions including Visigoths, Moors, and Christians and is now Roman Catholic. It is made up of a lot of different styles of building due to damage caused by earthquakes and has been a national monument since 1910.
After this, we took the train back to Sintra, having enjoyed the visit.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Road Trip to Portugal - Adraga Beach (Praia da Adraga) and Cabo da Roca

We have just returned from a weeks road trip to Portugal.
This post is about our visit to one of the best beaches that we have ever been to, and we just picked out this beach from the map. We were staying in a beautiful place just outside Sintra and drove to Praia da Adraga the satnav took us down a narrow winding road to the beach and when we arrived we were surprised that there was only one bar and a car park, which was free). The car park was right on the edge of the beach and there were only half a dozen people on the beach.
We walked across the beautiful white sandy beach towards the sea, which was quite choppy, there was only one person in the water and he was surfing, wearing a wet suit. There was no chance that we would venture into the water it was far too cold for us. We did a lovely walk along the beach.




































Next, we wanted to visit Cabo da Roca so we entered it into our satnav and it took us along a right-hand turn just along the road from the beach, this soon became a very narrow dirt track, luckily our car is a 4x4 so we were okay but a normal car would have been in trouble, we noticed that someone had hit their sump on a rock as the sump oil was all along the track.

Satnav said that this was the main road to Cabo da Roca?

We finally arrived there safely and noticed a lot of coaches and cars parked close to the lighthouse. So we parked a little way before and walked to the lighthouse where there were loads of people, we still got some great views of the cliffs and beaches below. It is better if you go there to watch the sunset but we could not fit this into our trip this time.