Portugal

I know we are officially back home in the states but we still have lots of pictures and country blogs to share.  Continent number six! Our last leg of the trip. Having just spent about six weeks in Africa running around non stop we arrived in Lisbon exhausted. We had an amazing Airbnb with a huge couch with two separate bedrooms and we spent the first full day just relaxing. We were both in need of some alone time. 

Our first stop in Lisbon was this tram right near our Airbnb. Lisbon is super hilly with some of the craziest streets winding all around. This was the easiest way to get around if you were going uphill....unless you were up for some amazing cardio. We took this tram up six or seven streets to lunch one day. 

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Looking down from the top of the tram the hill doesn't look that steep but trust me it was. 

Our first full day sightseeing was spent just a short 15 minute or so metro ride to the west of Lisbon in Belem. Belem is Portuguese for Bethlehem. Along the way we passed this bridge.

The bridge looks a lot like the one we have in the States. Yep, looks just like the Golden Gate Bridge. If you look to the right you can see a "cross" on the top of a statue. This is actually there version of Christ the Redeemer (National Sanctuary of Christ the King).

Our first stop was Jeronimos Monastery built in the 1500's.  We decided not to wait in line. The line was ridiculous. We discovered later that the first Sunday of the month is free entry to most of the attractions in the area. This wasn't the first long line we encountered that day. 

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Our next stop in that area was the Monument of Discoveries.  The monument was designed to look like a ship sailing out to sea. You can see the "sails" and a clear boat shape. 

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Right next to the Monument of Discoveries was the Tower of Belem.  This tower was also built int eh 1500's as a defense tower. There were cannons and other artillery used to keep intruders from approaching by water. 

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We spent the next day in Sintra visiting the Moorish Castle (Or Moopes if you are a Seinfeld fan) and the Palace of Pena. We took the metro to Sintra then hopped on the local bus that loops around to the main stops. Our first stop was the Moorish Castle. The castle was so cool. We spent a few hours hiking and climbing over the rocks to the top. The views from all angles were epic.

And yes we climbed up all those steps on both sides of the castle. 

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You could even see the Palace of Pena from one of the look out points at the castle. 

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Our next stop was the Pena Palace. This first picture is a view from the entrance looking up. All I could think about was how tired I was after hiking all those steps at the Castle. Thankfully there was a bus shuttle that took you right to the entrance. Three Euro well spent. 

Doesn't it look like a colorful Disney Palace? 

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The outside and inside had some of the prettiest tile work I have ever seen. The detail of the tile was incredible. 

We spent a day just checking out the city of Lisbon. We rode Tram28 through town (overrated if you ask me), Saw the Santa Justa Lift (outdoor elevator connecting the city streets above), Topo (rooftop bar looking over the city), and cehcked out more statues then I can remember. 

We also stopped in to try Ginginha at one of the oldest open bars in Portugal. Ginginha is a cherry liquor with pieces of the fruit served with it.  This bar was super tiny with one gentleman working the counter and no place to sit. You ordered your drink and stepped outside to enjoy it with friends. The floor was also super sticky. 

It was both strong and super sweet. I wasn't drinking more than this one glass. Somehow we ended up with a small bottle of it for the apartment. 

I also made a new friend: Pasteis de Nata. An egg and custard tart. I was addicted to them! Luckily, Manteigaria was right next door to our Airbnb and I could get them at all hours and they were always hot and fresh.

I would give anything to have one right now. Thankfully, Tim didn't really care for them.....more for me! I found a recipe for them today. I will report back if they taste the same. 

Check out all of our Portugal pictures in the Europe Galleries.