Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lisbon (sort of), Sintra

Yesterday I took the train to Lisbon to a distributor of the RCC cruising guides as I have no guides for Portugal and Spain. I arrived at the train station and looked for the store. First I headed one way, after about a 1 mile walk I asked for directions and was told it was back the other way. I walked back to the station and continued about 1 mile past it in the other direction. I again asked for directions and was told it was back the other way. Returning to the station I asked for directions again and was pointed in the third possible direction (the River Tagus being in the way of the fourth direction.) After climbing a steep hill for about 1/2 mile I once more asked for directions and was told it was the other way. Arriving at the bottom of the hill but across the street from the station I notice a store front with nautical goods. Not the store I was looking for but I figured if anyone knew where it was the clerk in this store would. So I went in and asked. He looked at me like I was crazy and said "it is right next door." In other words, directly across the street from the station. Then he said "but it is closed until Monday." Totally frustrated I just walked back across the street and got on the train.

I stopped in SkippeR for an espresso. For the heck of it I walked next door into the small "C" store that also has a small nautical section. Would you believe that they had all three RCC cruising guides I was looking for. Now the interesting part. One of the three is actually cheaper than the price in Lisbon. The other two are more expensive, so I will take the train back to Lisbon tomorrow to pick them up. Then just for yucks I went out to the Imray web site and discovered that the mark up to purchase the books in Portugal is in excess of 100%. - in other words more than double the price - and these books are not cheap.  Uggggggggggh.

Palacio da Pena
Today I went to Sintra. Walk - Bus - Bus - Tram - Palacio da Pena. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site and considered one of the seven wonders of Portugal. It was used extensively by the Portuguese monarchy until the declaration of the Portuguese republic in 1910.

The Palacio is surrounded by a large park. You need to be a lot younger than I am or a mountain goat to walk around as the entire park is built on a very steep hill. I did a little bit of walking but did not explore as much as I might have liked.

The park is only one the attractions in the "Cultural Landscape of Sintra." Unfortunately each of the major sites is separated by steep hills and long distances, one gets around via the tourist bus. Also each charges admission - it would be quite easy to burn thorough a lot of cash. I also think each site would take a day to enjoy. Since the Marina de Cascais is one of the most expensive in Portugal I don't expect to stay here any longer than when the (unusual - they keep telling me) very strong winds die down and I can finally head South.

Fair winds and following seas.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. DC here, from NJYC. We made the trip from the UK to USA 12 years ago.

    I have been following your travels since Phil (NJYC) alerted me to your blog, really enjoying it.

    Recommendation; Try to make a stop at Figueira da Foz, it's a one day run North of Cascais. We stayed three weeks at the marina there and really had a great time. We found it to be inexpensive and centrally located for everything. (The housewives market is across the street!)

    Enjoy the trip, Portugal is the one place where we would like to return someday.

    Barco Sin Vela II