We only had two days in Lisbon, so we fit a lot in the short time we were there. (see, Day One – Lisbon Portugal – New Friends, A Walking Tour, a Foray through the Alfama District and Dinner at TimeOut).
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It helped that we were traveling with another couple one of whom is a mega-planner (and I say that in a good way – it’s so nice when someone else does the planning for a change!). So, whereas, had I suggested to Dave (*always the reluctant traveler*) that I thought we should travel nearly an hour to a place called Sintra to see some palace high on a hill, he would have balked (*or worse – barked*), but when our friend Naresh suggested the same, Dave said fine without batting an eyelash.
We were staying at the Sheraton Lisboa (see, Hotel Review: Sheraton Lisboa Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal). I began the morning with a short run around the area near the hotel.
I also saw some cool street art in the vicinity of the hotel (see, Some Great Street Art in Lisbon, Portugal).
Following breakfast in the Sheraton Lounge (see Hotel Review, above), we set out for Sintra. Although there is good public transportation, since there were four of us and Ubers were so cheap in Portugal, we took an Uber. We arrived at Sintra town, but it still took a while longer for the Uber to take us up the mountain, to the foot of Pena Palace.
A visit to Pena Palace is like a fast-track voyage to a story book world with fairy tale characters – I thought I was Cinderella or even better, Anyway, the Palace was gorgeous. Look at these photos!!
The palace interior was nice, but I favored the palace exterior.
After some time walking around and then through the palace, we left and journeyed down the mountain to the town of Sintra. On our walk, there was a park bordered by statue after statue.
We approached the real heart of Sintra. I smiled – it had the old world quaint European charm that I like so much.
These trees seemed magical to me.
We asked a local if he could suggest a real, authentic local restaurant for a late lunch. He suggested Restaurante Dom Pipas. The meal was perfect. Had the restaurant been closer to our hotel I would have eaten every remaining meal of our short trip there. I had a monkfish stew that was so superb, I still think about it. If you visit Sintra, promise me that you’ll go there.
We returned to the hotel and rested for a little while before heading to the Chiado area for a dinner at a popular Michelin-Star restaurant called Mini Bar Teatro.
The Flight Deal had recommended it. The restaurant is owned by a renowned local chef, Jose Avillez. The restaurant had an art deco feel to it.
We all chose the Epic meal which was just under 50 Euros and had about 600 courses (yes, I’m exaggerating). The whole experience was fun. Each course was a mini-course, a creative mouthful or morsel of something amazing (albeit a bit weird) but still interesting. The chef played games with food consistency too – items that should be solid were liquified and vice versa. It was a trompe l’oeil of sorts – nothing was what it looked like.
Wow, what a day it was!