It was so tempting to stay longer at the beach as the weather was so beautiful, but we had to be in Lisbon by 6pm and wanted to go to Sintra on the way.
Sintra was the summer retreat of Portugal's kings. What they have left behind is a hill top town with the old district full of these wonderful palaces that belonged in a fairy tale except that they were real.
We were in tourist land as bus loads of tourists spilled out onto the narrow side walks and the restaurant owners did there best to get you to come inside. Penelope didn't like the man who was in a trance sitting on a chair of nails, it did look rather painful!
We got sucked into a restaurant for what seemed like a reasonable price - only to discover that the complementary cheese, was in fact more expensive than any main dish. It is one of the most frustrating things being gluten free not being able to just buy a takeaway sandwich.
After lunch we went to the toy museum which was home to thousands of toys that have been collected over the last 60 years. The kids loved it and the owner and collector was there in his wheel chair telling us little stories about the toys we paused to look at. One toy Ferrari I was looking at was apparently commissioned by Enzo Ferrari himself and was only for clients who had bought the real thing. After a phone call and a flight to Italy to pick it up, the collector was allowed one without having to buy a real Ferrari.
On the top of a hill overlooking Sintra, is the beautiful Palais de Pena, set in the most amazing grounds. We hiked up from the entrance to the palace, bribing the kids with a promise of ice creams, only to discover that the ice creams were inside the palace, which we had not brought tickets to. Rachel ended up taking Penelope and Jasper in as Hannah see's palaces as a bit of a race track and likes to see how fast she can drag us round in. As she was tired, it was good for her to spend some Daddy time alone and even though we ended up walking a long way up and down, she came back refreshed.
By the time Hannah and James got back down to the ticket office, the cafe was shut, so no ice creams.
We made our way into Lisbon and found our apartment without any trouble, and the landlord was there waiting for us. It is a lovely apartment and a lot more comfortable than Foz. We had a quick look around and then came back to the apartment for dinner.