When the royal Portuguese family wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon, they looked no further than Sintra. An idyllic town 30 minutes north of the capital city, today Sintra is brimming with tourists - and there is no surprise why. With at least three magnificent castles (one dating back from the 12th century when the Moors still ruled Portugal), gorgeous estate homes and gardens, and a sweet little town boasting wine, cheese, and cork shops dotting the hillside, Sintra is like stepping inside a real life Disney fairytale. Our first stop was the Pena Palace, built as a summer home for the monarchy. It was beautiful and located way up high on a steep hilltop. It's also where we discovered Portugal keeps all of its clouds.
After strolling the castle our tour guide Manny took us to town center where we tasted the most delicious pastries from the famous bakery Piriquita, where the king would formerly enjoy his own desserts many years ago. We then drove to la Quinta de Regaliera, an estate home owned by a former member of the monarch. Here Michael and I were bowled over by the exquisite design of the vast gardens, filled with enchanting waterfalls and towers and even secret caves (Michael especially loved this).
Once we had seen all that the gardens could offer, Manny took us to an authentic Portuguese family-run restaurant near Cascais. I had wayyyy too much rice and shrimp stew (NOT paella as I was firmly corrected) and Michael tried skewered squid - check out the presentation below!
As Manny drove us back towards Lisbon, we made sure to stop at the incredibly blustery western-most point of Europe: Cape de Rocha. I then promptly fell asleep in the car ride home. By evening we had showered and napped, and since we had eaten enough at lunch there was only one option for dinner: Amorinos, my beloved gelato shop!
While sneakers and athletic gear were appropriate for the day's adventures, I dressed it up just a bit for our evening stroll around Lisbon in this super comfy long sleeved romper. I love rompers precisely because they remind me of onesie pajamas, the only difference being that rompers are socially acceptable to wear in public.
Oh, and we also found a cool mirror.