Visiting Lisbon & Sintra for the First time @ Portugal

YAS! I'm finally writing the last travel post for my trip in Spain and Portugal.
This post is all about the main attractions to go in Lisbon and Sintra, and also the local food I had in Portugal.
It's my first time visiting Portugal, and I'm already feel madly in love.
I remember I've read one online article about the 40 most beautiful countries in the world, and Portugal is one of them in the list.
Feeling so blessed that I can now cross off Portugal from my travel list.
Portugal is really one amazing country to visit; the people there are friendly and nice, the weather was fine, much better than the previous days in Spain, and also I enjoyed Portuguese food too.
So, we went to Portugal for almost 2 days; we arrived in Lisbon late in the afternoon from Seville, spent a whole day in Sintra on the next day, and then following by a half day tour around Lisbon city before our night flight back to Malaysia.
The itinerary in Portugal wasn't very rush, so we actually have enough time walking around and taking pictures at those places that the tour agent arranged for us.
So, let's start my love in Portugal. are you ready?

On the first morning in Portugal, we visited Sintra, a resort town near to the capital Lisbon.
It's about 30 minutes drive from the hotel, Epic Sana Lisboa hotel we stayed in Lisbon.
Sintra is a charming Portuguese town situated in the foothills of Portugal's Sintra Mountains, and I heard from our local tour guide said that this beautiful town is also one of the most popular day trips from Lisbon.
We first visited the Cascais Natural Park, a park located on the Portuguese Riviera.
This park is one of the 13 natural parks of Portugal, which established in 1994 as a Natural Park by the Portuguese Government, and has been protected since 1981.

People come over to the Cascais Natural Park particularly wanted to see the famous Cabo da Roca.
Cabo da Roca is an important coordinate for those sailing along the coast, as it is the most westerly point of mainland Europe.
The view here is gorgeous, with the waves of the North Atlantic that constantly pounding against the cliff, the rocky shores...

The soothing sound of waves on the ocean is such a perfect ambiance.

There is also a lighthouse overlooking the sea.
After admiring the view of Cabo da Roca for a while, we got on the bus and get ready to our next destination, Old Quarter of Sintra.

Since the Old Quarter of Sintra is located along the foothills of the Sintra Mountain, there are some light hiking needed along the walking journey.
But, it's okay because Sintra is a lovely city that there is always something you can take beautiful pictures of wherever you go.
Here's some 
nice views to catch along your journey, not only that, you can also meet some street vendors who selling their unique hand-made items like fashion accessories, and also the vegan cork bags I mentioned in my previous blog in Seville. 

The Old Quarter of Sintra is the historical centre of Sintra that built against a mountain. 
It's not a huge place but always filled with locals and tourists because there are a number of interesting streets that you can walk, and also many nice cafes and restaurants to chill.

One of the historic centre at the Old Quarter of Sintra. the National Palace of Sintra, the best preserved medieval royal residence in Portugal.

It's nice to walk through the narrow streets of the historic centre at the old town.
The streets are full of cafes, restaurants, souvenier stores, interesting boutiques selling a range of artistic, hand-painted and hand-made items. 
And each shops are designed with their own unique charms, colours and characteristics.

Like the blue tiled building that looks so stunning and outstanding in its surroundings.

Time for lunch!
We had the Bacalhau a Bras, a Portuguese dish made from shreds of salted cod fish, onion, thinly chopped fried potatoes, bound with scrambled eggs, and then topped with black olives.
It's my fav savoury dish with the right crunchy and cream texture, absolute a must-eat in Portugal!

Also the Arroz De Marisco, a Portuguese seafood rice dish with assorted seafood in a tomato gravy.
I like the seafood rice as it has the desired texture that taste like congee; not creamy, not thick but slightly watery. 

The National Sanctuary of Christ the King is an impressive monument located in the neighboring city of Almada, a city on the southern margin of the Tagus River, on the opposite side of the river from Lisbon. 
This catholic monument was built in 1959, with the main purpose to thank God for protecting Portugal during World War II, and also it is a dedication to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.

The statue proper measures 18 meters, whereas the rest of the height is yielded by the pedestal at 82 meters.
The statue proper was design by Francisco Franco de Sousa, with renders Jesus with this wide stretched arms, while the base of the monument was constructed by Antonio Lin. 

You need to purchase the ticket in order to take the elevator to the top.
Before reaching at the top, you can find a church and also a chapel inside the monument.
It's impressive when standing at the top notch of the statue.
I'm always feeling surprise and at the same time also feeling very amazing how they built such a giant statue back in the old days.

Close up selfie with the monument. :)

At the top of the monument, you can admire the panoramic view of the city of Lisbon. 

This is the 25 de Abril Bridge over the Tagus River.
The bridge in red colour resembles the Golden Gate bridge of San Francisco.
So, a trip down to the National Sanctuary of Christ the King is worth as you can cover both the iconic spots at the same time. :)

We stopped by at the Fabrica da Nata for the local delight, Portuguese egg tarts, a MUST have when visiting Portugal. :)
There are so many shops selling Portuguese egg tarts in Lisbon, I somehow find that their egg tarts is a type of dim-sum for the locals. :)

When you enter the bakery shop, you will see a small work space on the left where the pastries are made. 
It's always nice to see how they baked and prepared the pastries in an open space. 

Look at all the tarts, looking so good, and they are served fresh out from the oven.
That's great because egg tarts are always good to eat when it served warm. 

I got 1 tart with a warm black coffee.
Some people said the egg tarts are not very sweet, but for me, it tastes a bit too sweet, maybe because I don't take food with sweet scent so often.
So, I still prefer the egg tarts in the Asian style. #hehe

Make sure you get the seat at the second floor so that you can have a view from the private balcony.
Next round if I ever have the chance to visit Spain or Portugal, I want to stay at those apartment that with a nice balcony view, just like this. :)

While my mum and my sister went to shopping, me and my dad were just scrolling around the Pombaline Downtown of Lisbon
We passed by the Rissio, a popular name of the King Pedro IV Sqaure in the city of Lisbon. 
The downtown area has been one of its main squares since the Middle Ages and has been a popular place for revolts and celebrations, bullfights and executions. 
The square now also a preferred meeting place for locals and tourists in Lisbon. 
People mountain people see, and everyone are so relax sitting with drinks by the fountain. 

Trams was one of the main transportation in Lisbon back in 1930s, and this unique aesthetic of Lisbon public transport is still being used in the city.
There are two types of trams; the historic Remodelado trams, and the modern Siemens Articulado trams.
The Articulado trams are mainly use at the flat sections of the city and also provide a higher passenger capacity, while the Remodelado trams in quaint yellow colour are mainly use at the super narrow streets of the city because only the Remodelado trams can pass through those hilly terrain and narrow turns.

Dad said the motorbike is cute, which can't find it in Malaysia.
So, he insisted to take a picture of me with the motorbike. #lol

For dinner, we had the Arroz de Pato, a Portuguese Duck Rice that made from shredded duck, onions, sausages and carrots.
The duck meat is tender and soft, and it tastes good with some lemon juice on it.

Portugal is famous with their canned sardines and also these fishy pastes that made from different fishes, includes tuna, sardine, mackerel and smoked salmon.
The canned fishy pastes are similar to our canned tuna in Malaysia, and every morning in Portugal, I like to eat these Portugal fishy pastes with breads and crackers.
I even bought some from the local supermarkets back to Malaysia; each of the canned fish pastes are packed in a single capsule where you can keep them inside the fridge for several months.
Some people may not like it because they smell or taste fishy, but I personally like it very much. :)

The next day in the early morning, we continue our Portugal trip in Lisbon.
Belém Tower is one of the highlight landmarks in Belém.
This iconic building has more than 500 years of history, which built in between 1514 and 1520.

Like I mentioned early in the post about the vegan cork bags, in Portugal, right at the Belém Tower area, there are a lot of street vendors selling different types of cork bags at cheaper prices, compare to the one I got in Seville.
Remember to check them out! Me and my sister got so crazy when seeing so many nice designs!

Monument to the Discoveries has a total height 170ft, about 52cm tall.
This stunning monument was designed to commemorate the Age of Discoveries in Portugal. 
It is made up of a group of sculptures that represent the prow of a caravel (a small sailing ship constructed by the Portuguese to explore the Atlantic Ocean).
The ship is leading by Prince Henry, the navigator and behind him are many other great Portuguese discoverers. 
Since the monument is tall, you can climb up to the observation deck on the top of the building for a beautiful view of Belém.

In front of the monument, there is an amazing marble map showing the extent of the Portuguese empire at its peak.
We found our Malacca in year 1509. :)

Jerónimos Monastery is the most impressive symbol of Portugal's power and wealth during the Age of Discovery.
In 1983, it was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Belém Tower.

Nearby Jerónimos Monastery, you will see the fountain in the Praca do Império, with symbols from the zodiac in the calcada.

Lisbon Oceanarium is an oceanarium in Lisbon, and also the largest indoor aquarium in Europe.
The designs, architectures, exhibition halls are all led by Perter Chermayeff, the designer of the Osaka Oceanarium, one of the world's largest aquariums, and many other aquariums around the world.

The Lisbon Oceanarium has a large collection of marine species, with a total 16,000 animals and total 250 species, which include penguins, seagulls, sharks, rays, chimaeras, seahorses, bony fishes, echinoderms, cnidaria, mollusks,  terrestrial plants and other marine organisms.

I'm not really an aquarium person, so even though it's said this is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe, I just not so interested in it.
I think this place probably suitable to bring kids over, and I believe they sure will enjoy the aquarium more than me. #lol

That's all about my travelogue in Portugal, hope you enjoy my sharing for today.
Don't forget to check out all my travel posts in Spain too, just click the label "Spain" on the right and it will bring you to the page that full of my travel stories in Spain. 
Can't believe I've finished all the travel posts in Spain and Portugal now!
Once again, thank you for visiting my blog and taking a moment to read my travel posts. 
I hope I provide some useful information here that will give you some insights about Spain and Portugal.
Till then, what's coming up next?! :)

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