Portugal
Bolavo

Here you’ll find travel reports about Bolavo. Discover travel destinations in Portugal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

11 travelers at this place:

  • Apr4

    Sintra

    April 4 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Another big walking day. We cannot feel our feet but it was so worth it. Sintra is 40 minutes train ride from Lisbon. It is a "longtime royal sanctuary, its forested terrain is studded with pastel-colored villas and palaces" - quick wikipedia info. We had a quick wander around in this historic centre/main square area before we headed off to one of the palaces called Quinta da Regaleira. A gothic mansion from the 19th century and a big well which was drained and possibly used for cult ceremonies! The surrounding park is full of towers, lakes, waterfalls, palm trees and other weird features.
    The second palace, Monserrate, and massive parque around was further away therefore less busy. Beautiful place with special rare species of plants and trees. The palace was designed with Indian and Islamic styles with many details and was funded by Sir Francis Cook, England richest man.
    We ended the day in Sintra with a 1 pound soup which seems to be a common choice of the locals and can be found everywhere, good news for our budget :)
    Read more

  • Day4

    Sintra

    April 18 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Hannah woke up at 3:00am because of a runny nose. Ugh. Luckily I got her back down and then Matt woke me up at 9:00 (for some reason) and the kids were still asleep too! I guess we all needed the rest. We had a quick breakfast in our room and then grabbed an Uber to Rossio train station for our day trip to Sintra! The drivers here are not keen at all to take children, but luckily ours did (begrudgingly). He had to go the most round about way ever to get to the station because of the hills and I think we would have been better off walking. We finally got to the train station and found there was a massive line to buy train tickets (we should have arrived about an hour earlier - whoops). We finally got our tickets which was a very confusing thing to do - we had to buy them one at a time for some reason and the attendant had to help us purchase the girls' tickets - but we just made the next train to Sintra. We walked all the way to the back of the train and finally found seats in the very last car - phew! The kids colored for the 40 minute ride and we got off into the madness of the Sintra train station. I'd planned to take a tuk tuk up the mountain but the kids were too young so we grabbed a taxi instead. Our driver was super nice and incredibly knowledgeable about the area even though we could probably only understand 20% of what he was actually saying. There was some traffic going up, but we managed to make it to the top and enter Pena Palace grounds. We stopped at the toilet and grabbed a snack (only ice cream for the girls of course) and then started hiking up the hill to the top. Hannah was a trooper but Evie was in the carrier - punk. We finally got up to the main gate after hiking through a gorgeous forest and finally saw the castle - it was unreal. Yellow, red and pink tile everywhere with the most intricate detailing. It was like a Portuguese Disneyland. The kids had a blast exploring the grounds (we didn't get tickets for the inside and the line was massive but the grounds were more than enough for us). You can walk all along the wall (scary) and all through the ramparts on the castle with views all the way to the ocean and back to Lisbon! After exploring we walked back down the hill and found the entrance to the Moorish castle (from the 1100s!!) which we were super excited to explore. It was a 400m walk to get to the castle from the entrance through a pretty forest. The kids were pretty tired so I pulled out the superhero capes I had brought and it was like they had a second life! They turned into superhero explorers and wanted to climb all the way up to the top of the castle and literally ran all the way back down. So fun. We made it back to the entrance (even Evie walked) but weren't sure how to get back down the mountain. There were police at all the park entrances and we knew how strict they were with kids in Ubers. I spotted a bus line so we shoved our way on and took it the two looooooong stops back to the train station. A train was pulling in so we rushed and hopped on - only to find out it was the wrong one! Luckily we were able to communicate via hand gestures with a very nice Portuguese lady and transferred at the next stop to the proper train. We finally made it back to Rossio station pretty tired and grumpy and had a taxi/uber/walk moment before settling on a crazy taxi driver who zoomed us back to the hotel. We finally got back to the hotel and were starving so ordered some food and drinks while the girls played with some other kids in the cafe. It is so fun to watch them play regardless of the language the other kids are speaking. We came back to the room for a little rest before taking the kids down to Kids Club for the evening. We changed and went across the street for a drink with my sister and Kyle who had arrived that afternoon (after their own crazy flight delay adventure)! We hung out for a little there having the best wine and then walked up the street to a teeny tapas bar we had put our name in at earlier in the day. It was delicious and we had more insanely good/cheap wine. We didn't eat until 9:00pm so got back pretty late to our room. Such a fun day all around! And I wanted to mention also that we got the BEST weather in Sintra. It was so sunny and warm which was great as I had read it was usually overcast/cloudy!Read more

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Bolavo

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