Portugal has been amazing! The day we got to Lisbon we decided to go on a walking tour. According to our guide Lisbon is the second oldest city in Europe! Athens is the oldest, then Lisbon, then Rome. I had no clue Lisbon was older than Rome! The tour was very long and very hot. Combine that with the little sleep we had from the night train and we were dying by the end. After lunch we stopped in shops and made our way back to the hostel to watch some Olympics and rest. Our hostel was great! They served free soup that night and showed the Olympics on the common room tv!
On Monday, Amy and I did our own thing. We decided to visit the Castle of São Jorge but it took us hours to get there because we kept stopping at different stores and we got lunch. It was a very traditional looking castle, less palace, more medieval castle. It was really cool and had great views of the city! Getting in was weird though. We bought our tickets but they wouldn't scan at the entrance. The security guard got angry at us and starting yelling at us in Portuguese. We had no clue what was going on because all we did was buy tickets, we didn't do anything wrong. He kept shaking his head like he was saying no. It was weird and we just kept standing there with our tickets out because we bought tickets and weren't going to leave without going in the castle. He looked at our tickets more then once, mumbled some more angry Portuguese then ripped our tickets and let us in. It was super bizarre but we made it in!
Tuesday was our last full day traveling together and in Portugal. We signed up for a tour that took us to Sintra. It was a small group with only three other girls on it plus our guide. We toured the palace and grounds of the Quinta da Regaleira. This place was so cool. We went in caves, in wells, up lookout towers, through gardens, and up through the palace! The architecture was amazing all around. Next our tour guide took us on a little hike to a beautiful spot of rocks on the side of the mountain. He bought us Portuguese pastries and we ate them while looking out over the valley. It was beautiful! We had a bit of a drive to get lunch and ran into a lot of traffic. Something we also ran into was a backed up line of cars on the road. Our guide got out to see what was going on and apparently a girl fell asleep while driving, hit a pole, flipped her car and the pole was laying across the road. The girl was ok but we had to turn around and find another way to the restaurant. Where we ate was a cute little local restaurant. We had a delicious plate of Portuguese sausage with a sunny side up egg, fries, rice and peas. It was so good!!! Then we went to the Roca Cape. They were cliffs that ran down to the ocean and it was beautiful. Our guide was telling us that we had good weather, it wasn't very windy. One time a Polish couple was here and was standing too close to the edge on the other side of the fence to try to take a picture of themselves. The wind picked up, they fell over the edge and died with their children watching. That freaked me out a little bit so I definitely didn't stand too close to the edge after that. Our next stop was a similar rocky kind of area called Hell's Mouth. The only thing is that the water was calm so we didn't get to see why they call it Hell's Mouth but it was awesome to look at. We ended our tour with a visit to Belém to get the amazing and famous pastries from Pastéis de Belém. They were amazing!!!! It was a great way to end the tour! After a sangria tasting back at the hostel we called it a day.
Today I fly to England and Amy is already on her way back to the US. Portugal was definitely an amazing place to visit, I will totally have to come back!!