|April 13 - 3 sights near Lisbon
On our 2nd day in the port of Lisbon our morning shore excursion took us outside the city once again. We rode about an hour to visit the 15th century palace of Queluz [quay-loos]. It is said to be a miniature copy of Versailles with many ornate rooms and lovely gardens. Our tour guide led us through it for 1 hour leaving us only 15 min. to scramble around the impressive grounds. (This palace was built in 1747 for Queen Mary; it was full of beautiful antiques and rich imported furnishings.)
Twenty minutes later we were in Sintra, one of Portugal's oldest villages and a long-time summer retreat for Portugal's kings. It's a small town of stunning manors and a Moorish 14th century palace surrounded by green countryside. We didn't pay admission to see the palace with only 30 min. to see the entire town and take in its Moorish-Manueline architecture and very old tiles. As it was we split up and headed in different directions to see and photograph as much as we could. I walked to see the streets and shops with embroidery and tiles as well as the architecture. Ivan climbed to higher levels and got some great overall photos of the town.
Our last stop was a 15-min. photo stop in the popular seaside resort town of Cascais [Cas-kays]. It has elegant manors, small palaces, hotels and several fortresses. Europe's largest casino, Casino Estriol, is located here.
Rather than go into Lisbon after lunch on the ship we decided to get online while the ship's WiFi seems more dependable in port. I updated more entries with photos we had ready to enter. As I worked we head the Captain announce that we would have to skip our last Portuguese port, Portamao, because the weather forecast of strong winds and 6 ft. swells would make it impossible for the tenders to get us ashore. That meant we would get an extra day in Cadiz, Spain and a complimentary glass of champagne with dessert tonight! (and the cost of our Portamao shore excursion would be refunded)