Our third day took us to Sintra, a short train ride outside of Lisbon. The train there was loaded with tourists despite it being "off season" and a less than perfect day. The roadway was jammed with big tour busses taking people up to Pena Palace and The Castle of the Moors. We discussed a tour for about 2 seconds and then set off on foot. It wasn't raining but was a bit overcast with very low clouds hanging over the mountains.
Every step up (more hills) brought another magnificent view. There were beautiful gardens and plantings everywhere.
Not sure what this building is but we came across the back of it as we ascended the mountain.
And up and up we went.
Finally we started seeing these walls which we believed to be part of the Moorish castle. The walls and castle are so far up the mountain and huge boulders are everywhere.
Alas, we weren't quite as close as we thought!!
As much as we went UP, sometimes that path took us down, just to get steeper around the corner.
It's a bit hard to tell from this drawing but the Castle of the Moors was spread out over a pretty large area at the top of the mountain.
After finally getting to the gate, we went up some more and could finally see one of the towers.
Not even to the top yet and the views are breathtaking. Far in the distance is the Atlantic Ocean.
Here you can get a little perspective of the size - we are close to one side looking back towards the other side. You can walk along most of the wall to the right.
It wasn't especially cold but up this high it was really windy and we were glad for layers. I had my coats off for much of the walking up the mountain.
It's truly amazing to imagine how this was built at the top of a mountain amidst all the huge rocks back when civilization didn't have the modern tools we have now.
Leslie looking out one of the small "windows" in a tower.
The view she was seeing from that window.
A cloud settled on the top of this mountain for a few minutes hiding the other half of the castle.
Looking back at the towers we had been in as we climbed up to the other half.
The Pena Place in the distance. We never made it there. By choice. We had been told the grounds were beautiful but the inside wasn't all that great and not worth the price. We were also getting pretty tired!
The clouds were starting to break up and putting spotlights on the landscape below.
Heading back towards the gate - just beautiful scenery at every turn.
A panoramic shot that doesn't get justice here.
We took a long winding path down the mountain avoiding many of the streets that we took going up. Much prettier with these fun little tunnels. And ankle twisting stones walkways.
A pretty little church coming back into town.
And then we boarded a bus to head down to the sea. I have no idea what kind of trees these are but they grew in small groves and looked very cool!
We didn't actually get off the bus at Cabo da Roca but it is the western most point of Europe on the Atlantic Ocean.
From there we ended up in Cascais along the Atlantic. It was a pretty little tourist destination where we found an Indian restaurant and had a great seafood dinner before boarding the bus back to Lisbon.
We laughed when we got back to the apartment and checked our floors of stairs on my Fitbit since it had felt like we had climbed about six mountains. Yes, 116 flights of stairs! And based on our burned calories, it wasn't likely that we were gaining any weight!