I walked from Sintra train station to Pena Palace.
Google maps said 29 minutes.
Google maps failed to consider the fact the ENTIRE journey is UPHILL. Vast chunks, quite steep actually.
Pena Palace is basically a castle on a cloud and I walked to that cloud.
I begun my trek full of enthusiasm.
There were a few people headed in the same direction.
“Ah, others visiting the Palace..” I thought.
Then, quite quickly, I noticed they’d all sort of disappeared. Off somewhere else*. (*Probably THE BUS STOP.)
I was on this trail on my own.
And what a trail it was.
The first few minutes were rather lovely, beautiful even. Winding paths through woodlands and flora and fauna. Rich greenery, and air so fresh it reminded me of childhood Summer evenings playing outside.
There were some steep steps but I still had my fresh orange juice at this point and I was coping. (See next pic.)
Then I ran out of juice and the steps became endless. I was sweating now. In a coat not designed for hiking. Also..WHERE WERE ALL THE PEOPLE?!
I sprouted out of the fauna and onto a busy main road. Cars and Tuk Tuks and..buses. Buses full of…people.
It became clear why there was no one else on my walk. Everyone else visiting the palace GOT A LIFT.
The road was steep and bendy, with fast cars and no actual footpath.
A scary barking dog appeared out of nowhere giving me such a fright I screamed and sprinted up said bendy road, giving crazy eyes to several bewildered drivers.
After many more steps, (so much concrete) through back alleys, behind people’s homes and out onto more roads,
I finally found some fellow humans headed for the palace.
Not letting them out of my sight, I tailed them to the palace entrance before complimenting them on their fitness level.
Bus driver that evening: “You walked here from the station?!”
“You must have been so exhausted once you arrived you were too tired to explore the palace 😂…What an adventure!”
Solo Travel: Sintra, Portugal