Being an adventure-loving traveler sometimes means being a bit unprepared. That’s exactly what happened to us when visiting Sintra, 30km from Lisbon. Firstly, we did not expect so many tourists. There was a lot of traffic, finding parking was mission impossible, and we almost had to elbow our way in the packed streets.
Secondly, we did not read the guidebook upfront. So once we finally got to the city center, we learnt that the two most interesting sights are actually not located there. We could take a bus, but that would be at least an hour wait. We could walk up, but it’s a steep climb and even though Baby was in a carrier, we didn’t want to spend the day fuming and sweating on a hike, again. So we left our precious parking spot and drove uphill to two castles.
Thirdly, we had no idea the two castles are actually so cool. The first, Moorish Castle, is a ruin with amazing views. The second, Palace de Pena, is like from a Disney movie. Colorful and fun, it was our favorite. Not only the castles, but the whole park around is great, with villas and lakes and gardens. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip. How lucky Daddy convinced Mummy not to get discouraged by the bad start and drive up “just to have a quick look”.