I fully admit that this epic fail is partially, if not completely my fault. First, we were traveling in August. Can you say the height of summer? Foolish l know, but l was on a high. We were at the tail end of a 31 day trip that had seen us in Madrid, Rome, Stockholm, then Bologna, back to Rome, and finally Lagos in Portugal. Everything had gone pretty smoothly, even with the summer crowds. Sintra however was a total disaster from the start. Had l not been such a stubborn ass, we could have avoided this tale of woe. I had read up on Sintra and was really anxious to visit this supposedly charming place. Mention Sintra to anyone and you will get nothing but glowing accolades. I saw travel websites and bloggers throwing around words like charming, fantastic, picturesque, majestic and my favorite “Sintra exudes a romantic aura that left a deep impression on the soul of writers since the 18th and 19th centuries.”. Is it any wonder that l had big dreams for this place?
Jeronimos Monastery is located in Belem, a parish of Lisbon close to the Targus river. To call it beautiful would be an understatement. I don’t care how jaded you are, you still need to visit on any Lisbon trip. Officially called the Hieronymites Monastery as well. The Late Gothic architectural style is known as Manueline, a Portuguese version of the Gothic style, which incorporated maritime elements and objects brought to Portugal by famous explorers such as Vasco da Gama and Pedro Cabral. These elements mixed with the then traditional Mudejar , Italian, Flemish and Spanish influences make for a very interesting style that l found very pleasing to the eye. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
This is a post that’s been a long time coming. I finally got to the point of wanting to get it off my chest. The boiling point came about during a discussion with another blogger who is temporarily residing in Seville, Frank and his wife Lissette of BBQboy blog. We had gone out for some beer and international food at this year’s Festival of Nations in Seville. I covered it last year, you can check out this awesome food post that l wrote last year. I finally decided to put pen to paper. I know people will hate me for this, but c’est la vie! That’s just the way it goes.
Ponta de Piedade is located just just a couple of miles from Lagos. Trust me when l say you definitely owe it to yourself to visit this absolutely stunning place if you are ever in the Algarve region of Portugal. The rock formations along the coastline seriously has to be one of the most beautiful natural coastlines we have ever been fortunate enough to see. Getting there is easy, you can take one of the many tour boats from Lagos for a different view point, drive or take one of the mini trains that is super popular with tourists. Our kind hosts, Anita and Richard drove us there. There is free parking too, and we were lucky enough to find one pretty quickly as it was packed. Another great highlight of our wonderful trip, kind of like the icing on the cake. Much like the rocky beaches reminded me of Malta, Ponta de Piedade reminded me of Malta’s sister island of Gozo and its Azure window. This is just on a grander scale as there are many more cliffs.
Lagos Portugal is pretty impressive. We finally had a chance to visit this summer thanks to the fact that our house sitters had ten days free between sits and we spontaneously decided to extend our Madrid-Stockholm-Rome-Bologna trip. No wonder we’ve been nesting since we got back. We were gone a total of thirty-one days!, and I’m proud to say with just carry-on luggage too. Here’s how to experience a most relaxing vacation in this popular destination of the Algarve.