Day 13: Lisbon (Sintra), Portugal

Posted on Tue 15 May 2012 in Transatlantic Cruise and Europe • 6 min read

Sumner:
Today we were again in Lisbon, Portugal. Today though we went out intro the countryside to a town called Sintra (center-uh; without the "r" sound at the end of center). We met Susanna in the same place as yesterday and then got into her van to drive to Sintra. On the way to Sintra we saw suburbs of Lisbon. The suburbs here are nothing like those in the States because all around there are tall apartment buildings. All around you couldn't see much of anything except for apartment buildings. Unfortunately it did not seem like a good place to live. There was graffiti galore and you just looked at it and knew that you didn't want to live there. Another thing that we saw on the way was an aqueduct. This aqueduct was built in seventeen or eighteen hundreds. It was made using Gothic arches (the ones that are pointy). One of the arches that makes up the aqueduct is the tallest in the world. It is also I believe the widest. It did not take long to get to Sintra. When we arrived mom commented, "Now we are in Europe." It really was too. It was the typical small European village with narrow streets that don't have any pattern whatsoever and quaint shops and hole in the wall restaurants in hidden corners. There was a palace that we were going to go into but because all of the big tours of like fifty people were going to the palace at that time, we decided to walk around before going to the palace. As we were walking mom commented, but not to loud so as not to make Susanna feel bad, that the village looked like a little German village. We walked down the side streets just taking in the beautiful buildings and shops. One of the specialties of Sintra is their quark products. They love to make stuff out of quark. They make everything out of the stuff. There were purses, bracelets, and many other apparel including iPhone and iPad cases! I was thinking that I might buy one just for the sake of doing so but I realized that they aren't any cheaper there than here. They cost around 30€ which is somewhere between \$50 and \$60. When we were done with our walk around the town we went over to the palace. It was a grand palace for the Portuguese kings to go and have a nice summer vacation. Even though Sintra is not that far frame Lisbon it has enough difference in temperature that it was a nice vacation spot for the royal families. And of course if the king does it everyone wants to do it so, a town is formed. The scale of the building was immense. Just the stairs leading up to he palace took up a lot of room it was easily fifty to seventy five yards across. This part of the stairs was not covered. It was open and the stairs wee on either side of a platform which was probably thirty to fifty yards across. Then there was a covered part with stairs in either side leading up to the main palace. It had that old grandeur typical of the time which it was built. There were some great view of the city from here and also there were some interesting rooms with glazed tiles all around. It was in interesting mix of materialism of the age of discovery as well as both the Muslim and Christian religions. The chapel that was built in the palace was built by moors (Muslims living in Spain) and had the glazed tiles typical of the age. Oval the style of the building was the Manueline because it was primarily King Manuel that built the palace. There we all sorts of neat little fun facts like magpies that were ordered to be painted on the ceiling of one of he rooms to represent all of the ladies in waiting that we're present when a secret was leaked an who spread  the word about this around through gossip. There was also one room on which was painted the many coats of arms of the rich families in Portugal at the time. King Manuel's coat of arms was the biggest and the only one the was carved and then painted. It had lots of symbolism but I don't quite remember them. Regardless whatever the importance of the different symbolic things in the cost of arms it is important because it is the coat of arms of Portugal. After going to the palace we made our way thought the countryside to the furthest western point in continental Europe. I enjoyed all of the scenery along the way, even though part of the scenery was rather black, like the back of my eyelids. I wonder why that is? ;) yes, I went to sleep. I do have the excuse that he roads were very windy and I just was lulled to sleep by the movement. There was a car show going near the monument so we had a hard time parking but we did meet a man who we though was one of the car owners and got into a conversation with him about how some island in the Azores was used as a military base by the allies during WWII. He also said that if you went directly west from that point you would reach NYC. Well in between NYC and New Jersey he said. After getting pictures we got back in the car and drove past many coastal villages or towns. They aren't very distinct towns because it has molded into one big town along the waterfront but they were still called towns. Most of the way it was beaches with restaurants serving seafood. She to,d us that it was expensive to buy seafood in Portugal compared to the United States she said 50€ per kilo! That's like almost \$75 for a two person meal! The areas that we went through were used first by the royalty as a summer vacation spot. And then the population caught on. We saw lots of people on the beach but Susanna said that only tourists go to those beaches because the water is so dirty but the locals stay away from those beaches. We got back to the boat about thirty minutes before we had to be on the boat at two or so and went up to the Lido deck for some lunch as we were eating we saw the Baldersons coming on and then about twenty minutes later some other people and then even though they were fifteen minutes late to the boat they were just meandering along. Of course they could see that they were raising the gangplank and making the ship ready to leave but they didn't step up the pace at all. Later Mrs. Angie commented that, and I quote "I would have been bookin' it!" some people just don't know when it is right to speed up just a bit. That was about it for the day and I assume by now that you know the drill, make up the rest of the day because it was the same as all the other afternoon/evenings.
    \~Sumner

Hannah:
Woke up at a reasonable timeGot ready for our second day in Lisbon PortugalHad breakfast and made sandwichesWas a little late, so Oma, Sumner and Me went ahead to meet Susannawent on a long car ride to the suburbs of LisbonFist went to a pretty little town and got to see big moorish influenced palace on the outsidewas really crowded so went to a famous bakery where they make cakes called "pillow cases" Made VERY flacky, has honey suger mixture inthe middle. REALLY goodAfter "pillow cases" went to palacewas VERY pretty and big.it was also called house of 100 stairs(tell about palace)After that started back to the boaton the way we stopped at the farthest west part of Europe(Meaning, the closest part of Europe to the USA)I think it was called Cape Rock in EnglishAfter that, went by the ocean the whole way back to the NoordamHad a VERY late lunchHad extrra time before dinner, so I went to re-do my pearls. (Cause there was a really hard knot to get out)I was late for dinner by at least 5-7 minutes, went and found tableAfter dinner went to Club HALIt was Sports under the starsWe just had free time with the fun bouncy ballsI hurt my ankle agian, (I only hurt it a little bit. No big deal) so I kind of sat outAfter Club HAL went to bed

Bao- Noite (bah-oh-noy-t) good night

-Hannah-

Is this the rough draft? Oops! Sorry! Hope it still is good!