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4:44pm on Monday, 4th July, 2016:



We were in Lisbon today, which is a city I really like. It looks gorgeous:

However, rather than wander round Lisbon (which we've visited before), we went on a tour to Cascais and Sintra, on the grounds that the previous occasion we went to Lisbon our fellow tourists raved over them.

Hmm, well I can't say Cascais lived up to the hype. It's a bit like a fragment of the French Riviera, but if it were actually on the French Riviera it would only be a minor part. It was worth a visit, but I'd have preferred to have skipped it in order to spend more time in Sintra.

Sintra was something special. It would have been even more special if we'd actually seen more than one of the palaces that were described to us. It would also have been more special if it didn't have its own micro-climate that involved rain:

Then again, the weather could have been caused by my thoughtlessly leaving my umbrella behind. Every cloud has a silver lining, though, and at least the rain stopped other tourists from standing in the way of everyone's photos.

I'd like to go back to Sintra some time, but maybe take the train from Lisbon instead of going by road. There's something depressing about seeing row after row of tower blocks stacked up on hillsides like favellas (although probably not as depressing as actually living in one).

They make things out of cork here that everywhere else would be made of leather or paper.

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Copyright © 2016 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).