Sintra & Alcacer Do Sal

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13th November 2017 – 18th November 2017

Well would you believe it this small town hosts a World Heritage Site by UNESCO not less, built at the turn of the century the Quinta da Regaleira comprises of a Palace, a Chapel and gardens and grottos. Could I say it was beautiful, I wouldn’t know as we never saw it. The palace sits high on a Mountain and once again we find Portugal not very dog friendly. We couldn’t get on a bus unless the dog is small enough to carry and we tried to hire a Tuk-Tuk but they would take us but not Chloe, so we gave up. Sintra is a tourist destination only 30 minutes drive from Lisbon, with an accessible train line into Sintra as well. We parked the Motorhome at the railway station and walked through the town heading up to the palace. It is lovely don’t get me wrong and definitely well worth a visit but don’t take a dog. We wandered up through the streets with some beautiful architectural buildings, had a lovely tapas lunch and jug of Sangria so it wasn’t all bad. It has a great feel about it and the public buses run frequently to the top, if only we could have got on one. Never mind, I am sure we will return another time. We then made our way back to the Motorhome and headed to Alcacer Do Sal, a small town an hour away.

How do we chose where we are staying, well we just look at the map make sure it’s not too long a drive, it has somewhere to stay and off we go. Most of the time the little towns are not a disappointment and Alcacer Do Sal is a small town with a scattering of bars and restaurants, that sits on a river. We were only going to stay for one night but ended up staying 5 nights. Everything on hand, Lidl, an Intermarche Supermarket and Norman ! Norman I hear you ask, well yes, we met Norman who was staying on the same site as us until the end of the month. We think Norman must be in his early seventies, on his own travelling in his Motorhome and he has been making the journey South every year from the UK since 1999. He spends around 5 months each year enjoying the sunshine. I worry that he must get lonely but when I look over and see him lapping up the sunshine in late November I think to myself he’s got it right. Divorced, been in the army, his bungalow has storage heaters, he loves Toulouse sausages and he put corks under his windscreen wipers of his Motorhome to stop them sticking in the sun. It’s amazing the conversations you have when you have all the time in the world. Another great thing other than Norman, was that there were tennis courts nearby. Now all of you that know me, know that racket sports are not one of my strongest attributes. Luckily David has the patience of a saint and I attempted to place tennis. As usual David hits the ball and I go running, not such a workout for David but a great workout for me. David also met a lovely Portuguese lady that recommended some other places to visit along the coast on the way down to the Algarve, we decided to make our next stop Porto Covo. I hugged Norman when I left with a tear in my eye and said I hoped to see him along our travels and he said to us he hoped that we would never work again as there was many roads to travel.

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