Another favourite city from 2015 Lisbon, we were really looking forward to the sail into our dock as the waterfront is fantastic, they have a bridge built by the same team whom built the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and also a replica on the hill beside it of Christ the redeemer in Brazil. Unfortunately just like many mornings in San Francisco the harbour was covered in fog and so was the bridge, and all the surrounding monuments.
The Belem tower and monument to the explorers were also covered in white as were the surrounding city hills.
We had a full day private tour booked through Cruise critic and we now see the regular same folks on these day tours, and it was a happy 15 people whom were met by Susan and Nono our guide and driver for the day.
To give you an idea how good the value is on these tours we all paid 59€ each plus another 17€ for entrance fees for a full 8 hour day trip in a Mercedes mini bus which also had quick free wifi and water bottles supplied when ever you needed them.
Our first stop was Sintra an incredible hillside town less than an hour from Lisbon. We had been before but only got to the official Palace in the historical part of the town so we’re thrilled that we were taken to Pena Palace right at the top of the mountain with its glorious colours of red and yellow.
Red for the former monastery dating back to the 13-14th century and yellow for the addition to the monastery to complete the extremely quirky and unique fantasy building which makes up the Pena Palace.
The story of its building and life as a home is as good a soap opera as any on tv.
It was a busy day there and the lines moved slowly through the Palace, which to be fair although warm in temperature gave you plenty of time to take it all in and in no way did we feel rushed in fact from being picked up at 9:30 and having 50 minute lunch break back down in the town of Sintra we didn’t leave there till 2 pm.
We then headed to the coastal towns of Caiscais and Estoril for a walking tour through Caiscais and back into Lisbon with a stop to the Monastery where we had also visited on our last trip to Lisbon, but again we had a happy surprise as Susan said we would only be visiting the church and not the cloisters where there was a massive queue.
What was great was on our last visit we visited the cloisters and when we were due to go through the church they locked the doors as they held mass and we were unable to go in.
An incredible day of sightseeing and again we were reminded of how much we want to come back and spend more time here in Portugal.
We had a quick turn around and grabbed the ships shuttle service into the city with Paul and Michelle to meet Julie and Matt to have a drink in the city and our intention had been to have dinner in there as well.
We ended up just having drinks and headed back to the ship for pizza onboard before sail away.
We were fortunate that the the mist lifted for our time back in the city and we experienced none at the town of Sintra.
Tick off another great day.