A nice man in the coffee shop suggested we walk down the road for 20 minutes toward the castle. We stupidly assumed that he meant that it would take us 20 minutes to walk all the way to the castles, which was horribly incorrect.
It took about 15 minutes to walk to the town, where the man I'm sure assumed we would catch the tourist bus. Instead, we walked up the giant hill. It took over an hour and we were sweating bullets, but we made some nice friends from Clemson about halfway up.
Some crazy old Portuguese man pretty much set us up--- "oh, three girl? Three boys? PERFECT, you walk together!"
The walk was definitely worth it. While the castle was a little bit boring, the palace was truly stunning. It looked like something out of the board game “Candyland.” None of us cared about going inside the actual palace, so we bought tickets to the grounds and spent a really long time taking pictures.
After taking full advantage of the grounds, we continued our hike in search of a good viewpoint. Unfortunately, a few of the turrets had construction going on, but the view was still unbelievable.
After hiking down for a while, we hopped on the tourist bus and headed back to the train station. 45 minutes later we were back in Lisbon.
We picked up our bags and figured out how to get to Porto with the help of the hostel receptionist. While we were speaking to the receptionist, Lauren made a joke about us having our watches wrong, and he told us that Portugal had their daylight savings time change the night before…….. SERIOUSLY!? We felt so much less dumb upon figuring that out.
We grabbed our backpacks, took the metro to the Lisbon Central Station, and hopped on the train to Porto! At this point, the last meal we had eaten was breakfast, so we were pretty psyched about our break/meat/cheese feast. YAY!
Sintra is essentially the Portuguese version of Fussen, Germany—a castle and a palace opposing one another on top of gigantic hills with a lovely little town down at the bottom. We arrived around noon, and immediately picked up some coffee from the shop across from the train station. We were still feeling a little bit jet-lagged.