10 April 2011
10.04.2011 73 °F
Sintra and Pena Palace is one of those places that I have seen in the books and magazines and wanted to view for myslef. Inside Lisbon is the tour company who actually gave us a tour to Sintra. The Drive was about 45 minutes out of town and in the through a woodlined drive. The tour dropped us and the other 4 passengers off at the entrance and we were allowed 2 hours to explore the castle.
It is very unique and we managed to tag along with a different tour group for an explanation of the palace. It is still left as if the family may come back tomorrow with bric-a-brac every where. The place is beautiful but has the feel that it is not that far from livable. They even actually had working bathroom facilities. And we finally heard why all the beds in these type of places are so short. The royalty believed that it was bad for your health to lay completely flat so they would sit up in bed.
After touring the castle we are dropped off in downtown Sintra for lunch and whatever else we want to do for an hour. Lunch was okay but not worth mentioning.
Plenty of shops were open despite the fact it was Sunday.
We went into a shop with Ginja which is the big drink in Portugal. They think it is so good that if something is pleasing to them they say "It is better than Ginja". The drink has a cherry flavor and the idea is to pour a little in the small chocolate cups. You take a sip from the cup and then eat the cup and the rest of the drink. It tastes like a chocolate covered cherry.
Next stop on our tour was Cabo Da Roca on the cliffs. It is the westernmost point on the European continent.
The wind here was so terrible a few minutes was all we could handle.
Back on the bus we head to our last stop which is cascais. We have another hour here in the beach town that has a similar feel to Portofino or Monaco. It has a fancier feel. We had an appetizer and took a few pictures before it was time to head back.
On our way back to the van we passed a group performing a dance along the street.
Back in Lisbon we take a nap before our big night of Fado.
Our reservation at Clube de Fado was for 2030 which is the earliest possible to eat. I have codfish which is popular in Lisbon and Curt had a beef and pork kabob followed by homemade chocolate cake. At 2130 they have the Fado group come out. Fado is the folk music of portugal and the portuguese guitar accompanies a fado singer. Clube de Fado is supposedly the place where popular artists perform. Most of the music is allegedly sad with a focus on lost loves of missing home. The group played four songs and then the lights would come up again for the waiters to do their work.
Then another 4 songs would be played with a different singer. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would but you don't get the full sadness of the songs when they are performed in a language you don't understand.