Kongo’s ship arrives in Lisbon for the last day of his 10-day cruise from Dublin, Ireland. In was a misty, rainy morning as the ship made its way up the Tagus River (Rio Tejo). Much larger cruise ships were also heading into port and the monkey wondered whether they would all be at the same pier. They were. When you see giants like these you know there are going to be lots of people heading ashore. Kongo’s ship (Atlas Cruise Lines refers to it as a yacht) only had about 180 passengers. That would be just a pool party for the big ships.
Navigating the river, the ship passed beneath the 25 de Abril suspension bridge which is actually a copy of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. On a high bluff overlooking the bridge and facing Lisbon is the Portuguese Christ the Redeemer statue, which is a copy of the famous monument in Rio de Janeiro.
After breakfast and a nap, the monkeys headed out for an afternoon trip to Sintra, a nearby enclave in the Greater Lisbon area known for its wealthy residents and colonies of expats. Sintra is a beautiful, picturesque town built upon the slopes of densely forested Sintra Mountain. In times past, Sintra was a resort area for Portuguese nobility. Along the way to Sintra, we stopped at the National Palace of Queluz built in the mid-18th century. It reminded Kongo of Versailles,
From the palace, it was a short drive up Sintra mountain to the village. There was another palace there too. Portuguese royalty liked to travel in style and their entourage was typically so large that they couldn’t just stay in hotels. They had to have their own palaces.
On the return trip to the ship, the monkeys passed through the coastal area of Cascais a popular resort area filled with expansive mansions and stunning seashore vistas.
Returning to the ship, the monkey pair had a final dinner aboard, eating outside on the after deck, packed their bags (the worst part of cruising) and prepared to disembark in the morning. They will be staying an additional three days in Lisbon to see the sights so the adventure continues. Stay tuned.
Travel safe. Have fun.