Last night we learnt that saying “whoever goes to bed first gets the bigger ice cream tomorrow” is not an effective way of trying to get two toddlers to sleep while on holidays. We were paying the price for that two hour 16:00 nap. Eloise was completely exhausted and tried her hardest to go to sleep. Lachlan thought the room was his Portugese Ninja Warrior course. We all got a few hours of sleep in the end though, better than nothing.
In the morning Lachlan needed some chill time and caught up on his beloved morning cartoons.
We caught a crazy bus under a neat looking viaduct into whoop whoop land and then jumped on a random train that was luckily the correct one which took us all the way out to Sintra.
We were still sore from yesterday’s adventures so were relieved to see a playground to let the kids free and so we could put our legs up for a few minutes.
Both Eloise and Lachlan were desperate for a treat by this stage, it had already been a tiring morning, luckily for them, all we could find were mega meringues.
After a few more stairs and plenty of pretty sights, we reached Sintra Old Town which had amazing character. This is more what we were expecting in Portugal.
We did not get far as we found an outstanding Portuguese tart store that ticked all the right boxes.
A fun looking Ferris Wheel in a shop’s window caught Lachlan’s attention so we went over to check it out. Turns out it was a sardines store, a big thing in Portugal. Eloise yelled “blah yucky” as we made our way out.
Just like clockwork, we rendezvoused with our Portuguese tour guides Mai and Si. The first stop was a delicious lunch.
It was the perfect day for wandering around Sintra Old Town, Eloise was quick to point out our ol’ mate from Italy.
It was then time to get Mai and Dr Si’s Portuguese Extravaganza Tour Day 3 on the road. Which started with the best value for money bus we have ever paid for as we ascended up to the heavens. An incredibly steep windy journey on roads that buses really should not be driving on left us 85m higher in elevation. It was much slower than the below map suggests.
Admittedly a tad worried about what we had committed to but full of enthusiasm we pushed on with what turned out to be a lovely stroll. Si and Mai found some obstacles which only meant one thing, Lachlan had to have a go too. The boy did not want to be left out.
It was not long until we got our first glimpse of the Castle of the Moors.
We dropped the World’s heaviest pram off and Ronaldo was on his way! He was even shouting at his tour guides to “hurry up”, while cackling his head off. Since buying his Ronaldo shirt yesterday he has become the local star receiving many happy smiles and claps while he is on his quest to achieve infinite energy.
Up, up and up we went onto the walls, we were amazed at what we saw ahead of us. This was Warwick Castle all over again but this time dialed up a gazillion.
As we worked out the best way to navigate the wall ahead Eloise decided that Mai was her bestie and they led the way
Eloise did a brave job, thank you Mai and Si for helping her skip through. Lachlan was brilliant at listening through the testing terrain. Near the top we we got our first glimpse at Pena Palace.
On the way down when we thought it was safe enough, Ronaldo finished off strong. This time grabbing Si’s hand to make sure Si finished at top speed, no resting today. It had been another mega workout but perhaps the best wall walk we may ever do.
Castelo dos Mouros , is located in the village of Sintra, in the district of Lisbon , in Portugal . Built on a rocky massif, isolated on one of the peaks of the Sintra mountain range , in Extremadura , from the top of its walls you can see a privileged view of all its rural surroundings that extend all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The Castelo dos Mouros has been classified as a National Monument since 1910. Contemporary archaeological research , however, reveals that the primitive occupation of the Sintra region dates from the 10th to 8th centuries BC. During the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula , from the 8th century onwards the region was occupied, with its village receiving the name ” as-Shantara “. Scholars agree that they were responsible for the primitive fortification of the cliff, between the 8th and 9th centuries, with the aim of strategically controlling the land routes that linked Sintra to Mafra , Cascais and Lisbon.
There was no time for rest in Mai and Dr Si’s Portuguese
Extravaganza Tour Day 3 Extended Boot Camp so it was another steep bus drive followed by another climb up, ‘up’ was becoming the word of the day. It did not help that it felt like we were in a sauna. It was a huge team effort at this stage with Si and Mai doing more than their fair share on the pram rotor. We would not have made it without them. Eloise and Lachlan who are learning all about colours were surprised to see Pena Palace.
As we entered the palace we could only describe it to look a bit like something Eloise would have designed with the bright colours and spires. The tiled building was speccy.
An interesting design in a spectacular location, not sure if it was the effect of the heat or the crazy design features but our eyes were darting all over the place. We were all taking notes for house reno inspirations.
There were some majestic wardrobes that would even put Narania to shame. There was no chance we could let Lachlan run, we know exactly where he would have dashed to.
We were all worn out. It was getting late, the kids needed dinner and we were a long way from ‘home’. It was a final dash through the courtyard of arches where it looked like Lachlan could not break anything so we set him free. We had no choice, it was his favourite colour, yellow!
The Pena Palace is a Romanticist castle in São Pedro de Penaferrim, in the municipality of Sintra, on the Portuguese Riviera. The castle stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon and much of its metropolitan area. It is a national monument and constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. It is also used for state occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic and other government officials. The castle’s history started in the Middle Ages when a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena was built on the top of the hill above Sintra. According to tradition, construction occurred after an apparition of the Virgin Mary.
Eloise and Lachlan were both quick to jump into their royal carriage. To be fair this had possibly been the biggest day of their lives as we rolled downhill.
It was after 20:00 when our train pulled into Lisbon. We said “good night” to Mai and Si and tackled the climb because that is really what we needed right now, up to the Cheese House. The rolling hills kept waking Lachlan up so we swung past a Portgual football store so he could meet his idol.
It had been FIKs biggest day yet, certainly the most tiring! We had so much fun and were glad to spend it with Si and Mai, thank you again for the help. Right now, I need to continue my cooldown stretches. Safe to say our wee Ronaldo will be sleeping well tonight!