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Last Night In Lisbon

We are staying in our hostel in Lisbon for the last night, for tomorrow we head on the night train to Madrid. It is a little sad, because this is the first place that we put down our bags and made ourselves home at. On the other hand, from now on, when people ask us where we have been, we won't have to say that we just arrived, or are "just off the boat," as rudely put by a couple of Canadians getting ready to head home.

Today we went off to a little town called Sintra. We were up and out of the hostel by 9 am, first because we wanted to avoid the inevitable weekend crowd, but mostly because the one palace we had interest in visiting, the Palacio Nacional de Sintra, was free from 10 am til 2 pm. Given how much we like free things, we were off of the train in Sintra, along with another American, Rafael, by 10 am.

The palace wasn't particularly spectacular. We aren't really museum folks; our attention span is shot after usually one museum or old building of whatever sort. Granted, it was a large palace, quite nice from that respect, but let's say we were happy we didn't pay to get in. Anyhow, I was wanting to head up a big hill to get to the Moorish castle at the top, which would have afforded some nice views of this scenic town and the beautiful valley it lies in. I was outvoted, we jumped on a bus at that point to head to the most western point of Europe, Cabo da Roca. The ride there and back was expensive (8 euros round trip each), and I was a little salty about not getting to see the castle (as my friend Will calls them, piles of rocks). The ride was great, though, a half-hour jaunt through some very normal, non-touristy, scenic villages along the kind of narrow, windy roads I suspect are the most common type in Portugal.

Upon arrival at the point, we took the normal pictures of what was a very spectacular cliffside view of the Pacific. If we had just done that and left, though, we would have missed out. We were sitting at the top, looking out over the high cliffs that fell down to crashing waves, when we noticed that there was a trail that led off into the coastal grasslands, and looked as though it led down into a gully that might end us on a beach. So we set out, it was steep at times, quite rocky and loose, but as difficult as the trail was, arriving on a rocky beach was completely worth it. There wasn't a soul in sight, as most people wouldn't have a clue that the trail existed, and most of the rest would be put off by the difficult and steep trail. The waves were big and ferocious, and in one tall spike of a rock outcropping, the ocean had bored two tunnels through the rock. It was absolutely beautiful, and quite relaxing, with the sounds of the crashing waves. Of course I took pictures, but I am having a lot of difficulty uploading them. 

Our American companion stated that the beach made his Portugal segment of his trip. Despite the exciting and fun Lisbon, I would tend to have to agree with him.

Once back in Lisbon, we found that most grocery stores were closed for Sunday. We were lucky enough to find a store open, and for 5.75 euros, we bought enough food and even beer to absolutely stuff ourselves. We took a couple of beers to a look-off over the city and watched the sunset. Probably the best day in Portugal, I would have to say.

Until next time, be safe. 



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