Hi friends! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I’ve been back in London this week after an amazing time in Portugal. I am really enjoying writing about this trip. In the past, I have tried to keep a travel diary but it has had little to no success. Writing when it’s fresh in my mind, after a few Made in Chelsea episodes, has been perfect. It is also my hope that these posts might help you when/if you plan your own trip to London, Portugal and beyond :)
So let’s continue shall we?
We landed in Lisbon, picked up a rental car and made our way to our hotel in Sintra, Portugal (20 minutes north of Lisbon). We were greeted by the most delicious plate of Christmas goodies and caught up on necessary sleep.
The next morning I laced up my Wave Riders for the first time in two months (yay!) and went on a short and slow run around the hotel.
While my parents golfed, my sister and I explored the surrounding area.
We then all made our way into Sintra, a town dotted by royal retreats, estates, castles and buildings from the 8th-9th century. I was first exposed to the beauty and history of Sintra a la The Amazing Race — the Castle of the Moors was one of the pit stops this past season. Anyone remember?
The castle was constructed during the 8th to 9th century, during the period of Arab occupation of the Iberian peninsula to protect the population. [Source] The ruins and sights are amazing! The trek up to the top is literally breathtaking.
After all that walking and posing for photos, we were ready for dinner. The concierge recommended to drive into a nearby town called Cascais. We went to a restaurant called Visconde da Luz. I knew I was going for seafood: freshly grilled prawns, green beans and carrots sauteed in olive oil and garlic. Delicious!
The drive back from dinner was quite eventful. Let’s just say our good friend Emily (aka our GPS) got us a wee bit lost so we ended up navigating the streets, highways, un-paved roads of Portugal on our own. Quite interesting but we made it!
I woke up the next morning planning on going for a workout (the hotel had a beautiful gym) but my legs were so sore from yesterday’s run and walk so I stretched instead. It was a gloomy day but we decided to drive into Lisbon. By the time the weather cleared we parked the car and took the Santa Justa Lift up for a wonderful view of Lisbon.
We did some walking, stopped for a bite to eat and hopped on a terrifying street-car up one of the seven hills that Lisbon sits atop. The street-car was quite packed and turned out to be more expensive than a taxi. I don’t recommend taking it but definitely make your way up!
Back at the hotel, I went for a swim. Say what?! If you didn’t know, I hate swimming. But I know how good swimming is for muscle recovery so I took advantage.
We had a relaxing dinner at the hotel. The seafood in Portugal definitely lived up to expectations… a juicy and delicious salmon burger with veggies for the win.
The next two days in Portugal were even better than the first! Stay tuned…
Questions of the day…
Do you enjoy fish/seafood as much as me?!
What is your favorite international city?