Day 23 = Tuesday, April 3, 2012
When you last checked in with us, we had just visited the Palácio da Pena and the Castelo dos Mouros. From there, we intrepid Sintra-goers jumped in the car and drove like maniacs to Palácio de Monserrate, about 15 minutes away. We’d purchased a multi-park admission ticket at Palácio da Pena (which also included Castelo dos Mouros, Monserrate, and a Capuchin hermitage), so if we could get to Palácio de Monserrate before it closed, we could see it for free as well. When we got there, we jumped out of the car and asked the ticket-checker which way we should go to see the Palace. He warned us that the park was closing and that we might make it if we RAN. Again, David’s strides got him there first, just in time to beg the lady with the keys to let him hold the door for us before they locked it. Quinland and I made good time, with her encouraging me to run down the hill. (It was fun to run for a change, but I’d regret all the foot-pounding later.)
We blazed through Monserrate, snapped photos of the highlights, and then took a little more time to stroll around and admire the grounds. I think you’ll agree it was worth a little extra sweat to see it, even if it was only for 15 minutes.
The palace is in the midst of restoration, and when you see the amazing work they have done so far, it takes your breath away.
Once we got kicked out of the Palace, we had a bit more time to take some photos of the exterior.
Whew! What a day! All palaces and castles seen? Check.
We decided we had a tiny bit more sightseeing in us, so we headed for the coast. Our destination? The westernmost point of Europe. (Did you know that Cabo de Roca, Portugal, is the part of Europe that is closest to the U.S.? Well, now you do.)
It reminded me a lot of going to see the lighthouses near Newport, Oregon last summer.
Look at my girl. Doesn’t she look so happy? I think that having this time with my family is my favorite part of the entire trip.
We drove back through Sintra, where we stopped for a bacalhau dinner, before heading home to get ready to leave Lisboa at the crack of dawn. Q was the first to bed, but not before giving us a time limit: we HAD to be completely ready to go and in bed sleeping by midnight.
We made it by 1:00 AM.
Expenditures: rental car, entrance to Nacioanal Palace, entrance to Toy Museum, multi-park ticket at Pena, dinner in Sintra.
Experiences: For Q – Nacional Palace, Palacio de Pena, Castelo dos Mourous. For all of us – Toy Museum, Monserrate, and Cabo do Roca.