|Another early departure on a tour bus; this time we are going to the summer palace of the Portuguese royals. This palace is built to resemble Versailles; it is huge with dozens and dozens of rooms, maybe over one hundred. It is nice and very impressive but not in the best of repair. Our tour guide was not the best and I had trouble hearing her. The palace was built in the 16th or 17th century and has many of the original furnishings. It is in good shape for its age. From here we traveled to Sintra, a very hilly village and home of a castle high on a hill. The tour buses could not drive to Sintra due to narrow roads and lack of parking, but they did get close. We walked almost 30 minutes to get to Sintra, mostly up hill. We did not get close to the castle but did get to the outside of a Moorish palace which I believe dates from the 12th century. There was not enough time to tour the Palace. We ate lunch in a street cafe, served by a waitress delighted to have American customers. She learned her English watching American TV programs. She usually has Brits, who don't speak real English. ;-) She speaks English at home to help her husband learn it. As a result her 3 year old son speaks English and only knows three Portuguese words. The food was very good and reasonably priced.