Sorry sorry sorry! I am the worst at posting! Here is a post about my exploits in Portugal!
On September 18 (omg I am so behind…) I arrived in Lisbon early in the morning to see my parents! Which was SO wonderful because I missed them so much. I could barely sleep on the way I was so excited. My parents met me at the metro station, but because none of us had data on our phones, I was really worried that they wouldn’t be able to find me! But we found each other and all was well – we then went to their airbnb, which was the cutest little walk up, and I had a much needed nap!
Reunited and it feels so good!
After our nap we went on a walk to find Castelo de Sao Jorge which is the castle in Lisbon. After lots of winding our way through the streets, we got there! And there were GORGEOUS views of the city below! Apparently the castle wasn’t used to house the royals at all, but to house the military! (Mom and Dad, correct me if this is all wrong…) It was all very beautiful with lots of places for Dad and me to be afraid of heights.
Mom, forever blinking
On Saturday we took a train to Sintra to spend the day there. It’s a small, charming city about a 40 minute ride from Lisbon. When we got there, a bunch of people advertising tours were waiting outside the train station. Normally I would walk past these people, but mom and dad stopped to talk to one guy. He ended up being our personal tour guide for the day! He spent about 5 hours with us and showed us the different sites himself. First we went to Pena Palace and walked there through the palace gardens – which are about 200 hectares. It was so beautiful and huge.
View of Pena Palace from gardens
The palace itself was amazing, it looked like something out of a Disney movie. It turns out it was the Portuguese King’s summer home and you could see all of the furniture and stuff still in the rooms. The best part was the views! You could see soooo far from all the way up there! (it was on a hill, that we had to climb just so you know)
View from Pena Palace
We then went to Quinta da Regaleira which is an estate in Sintra with a large amount of land around that has plants, courtyards, and wells that take you to the tunnels below! The tunnels were really cool and all interconnected underground – our tour guide was telling us how the tunnels and the wells all had their own meanings (earth, air, etc).
View from underground
Looking down into the well
That night we sat outside at a restaurant to listen to Fado music while we dined. It was really lovely and very cultural sounding. They even gave each of us a blanket to have while we sat outside and ate.
Boys jumping off the bridge
The next day we took the train to go to Porto. Our airbnb was this adorable bachelor suite up a GIANT hill we had to walk everyday to go home. But the view from our balcony was stunning! You could see over the whole city it felt like! We spent the rest of the day there just wandering around and found a place to eat lunch. We wandered and looked at the shops, then next to the canal and watched some local boys jumping off one of the bridges (they’d then ask the tourist for money). We ended up just eating bread and cheese at the flat for dinner and mom and dad attempted to help me study Spanish.
The next day we went on a hop on hop off tour around the city which was the first time I’ve done one of those. It was really good! I like that you get to hear about each location as you pass by. Then Dad and I visited the Harry Potter bookstore! 🙂 It’s actually called Livraria Lello Bookshop and it’s supposedly where JK Rowling got some inspiration for Harry Potter. She worked in Porto for 10 years teaching English.