There was a bit of rain during the night and we woke to more rain this morning, however, by 7.30am it had cleared so I decided to go for a wander through the now deserted streets of Sintra. There are little alleys and streets surrounding the historical centre. There is an open air art museum which has a number of pieces of art dotted along the round that surrounds the park.
The hills behind Sintra contain all these underground water tributaries producing water from the springs. There is a water fountain down in the historical centre built in the times of the Arabs where people queue to fill their water bottles. I witnessed a lady filling about 20 two litre containers and loading them into her car. Not long afterwards another lady pulled up and got out and filled her two litre container.
There is a cafe in Sintra that dates back to 1756 and a bakery called Piriquita which is known as the royal bakery as it used to serve the royal family. They make and sell the famous Travesseiro – a delicately rollled pastry with a mixture of almonds and eggs.
There is a five star hotel called Lawrence’s that dates back to 1764 – the rooms are not numbered but named after famous people that have stayed there. Lord Bryon was one of these along with a number of famous Portuguese writers and poets. It is probably not a five star hotel by today’s standards but because of it’s history it is accorded such a status.
We stayed at the Sintra 1012 Boutique Guest House – it has 4 rooms and is lovely inside. It is run by Karen who is originally from California and her Portuguese husband. It was such a fun place to stay. We had breakfast at the communal table this morning with a couple from Chile and Stefan (Germany) and Katerina who is from Sweden along with Katerina’s mother. They were all very well travelled and had some great tips for us.
Stefan, Katerina and her mother had all traveled to NZ. Stefan & Katerina had spent two months in NZ and for one of those months traveled around in a Jucy Campa. Katerina’s mother is a teacher and looks after international exchange students – she bought 8 Swedish students down to NZ to settle them in for their year in NZ. She had been to Invercargill and even visited Stewart Island – not that many Kiwi’s can say they have been there! To top it all off Katerina had been a golf professional on the LPGA in the USA for six years. They were all in Portugal to watch the UEFA Woman’s Champions League final – Katerina’s brother is the coach of Tyreso FF, the Swedish team in the final.
The UEFA Men’s Champions League final is being held in Lisbon on Saturday between two Spanish teams from the same city of Madrid – Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico De Madrid. They are expecting a lot of people from Madrid and given it is only 5 hours by car the streets of Lisbon will be bedlam.
After breakfast we drove back to Lisbon and dropped our trusty Fiat Punto off and got dropped at the airport to catch our flight to Bordeaux.
Adeus Portugal and Bonjour France.