Since I now had more time in Lisbon I decided to do the day trip to the “must see” Sintra.
The guide books say to get there super early. I took the train from Rossi around mid-morning.
Once you get to Sintra it is a long bus ride from train station (bus 434). It is the one with the long line. I walked past it at first because I thought it was a chartered coach. It costs around 6-7 euros for a hop on hop off pass.
In all it took about 2 hours to get to the first castle from the train in Lisbon.
Don’t try to walk it to the castles. It is a long walk uphill that will take lots of time (over an hour). You will waste all your time and energy, you need it for the hillls and lines of the castles.
Also buy your tickets in advance but don’t buy tickets for 4 castles like I did and only have time for two. Unless you get there super early 3 is max you can probably do on a busy day. And try to go to Pena at the start of the day or late afternoon. You’ll still wait in line to get into the park but you won’t wait in that horrible ticket line.
Pena palace has me all stabby today. Decided to eat first since the line to get into the palace was over an hour and there were people cutting in line. I had low blood sugar so I ran off to get some food. Luckily when I came back the line was somewhat shorter but not by much. Once you get inside you stay in line while walking through unless you are the Italian girls behind me who pretty much pushed through everyone to get to the instagram photo spots. And as a side bar I really hated Instagram today (and many moments later in my travels). I love sharing my adventures with friends and family on instagram but it makes sightseeing unbearable anymore. Lots of groups of girls in cute outfits/dresses and fully made up (do these girls not sweat?) that hold everyone up in key spots so everyone in their group can get their perfect pose in front of the pretty/cool/different thing. I was about ready to go full B on some of these girls because it got downright ridiculous. I don’t mind a few tries for cute pictures at a couple of locations but these girls stop everywhere and block everything. I had a hard time getting in just to see something (not to mention actually taking a photo of my own) and every time I thought I had a break to take my own photo a stupid girl would jump in my frame and start doing modeling poses. So this rant is a PSA of sort, girls chill a little.
But Pena palace is kind of cool looking. I think I would have enjoyed it much more if I spent a couple days at Sintra and did it first thing in the morning before it was chaotic.
Because I wasted so much time at Pena I really only had time for one more castle before closing time.
I chose the Moorish castle.
The moorish castle was definitely less crowded. There was still a little bit of the photo shoots but nothing like Pena castle…not enough to really hit my fuse and to be honest sometimes that is short.
I like that it was less crowded and I liked that it gave me a view of some of the other castles, especially since I wouldn’t have time to see the other in person.
What I didn’t like is that I lost my lens cap. There was a long way down and every time I took off my lens cap I kept saying to myself I am going to lose this thing. Guess what? I did. I wasn’t able to replace it until about a week later when I arrived in Turkey.
After the moorish castle I chose the long walk down to the historic center. It was all downhill and I was not in the mood for another bus ride.
I took this opportunity to chill out after a chaotic day. I ordered some steak and a drink. The meat wasn’t the best but the sauce was pretty good.
I bought a couple of souvenirs from a local shop then hopped back on the bus to the train station.
It was an OK day but I think I would have loved Sintra more if I stayed there for a couple days. Hopefully some day I can come back and do that.