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    From Lisbon to Sintra, by the coast

    In order to forget all about my tragic snow-related ordeal, I treated myself to the closest sunny destination that wouldn't bankrupt me and set off for a relaxing weekend in Portugal.

    All this travelling has rendered me incredibly spoiled, so I didn't even hesitate about picking up a car hire at Lisbon Airport as soon as I landed. First thing I learned about Portugal is that the average Portuguese driver is a daring individual who will know what they want and go out to get it and you better move out of the way when they do!

    Daunting at first, but sort of fun once I got the hang of it! I might even have learned a word or two in Portuguese, though I suspect I shouldn't repeat that particular section of my Portuguese repertoire in polite company ;).

    Overall though, people seemed friendly and helpful, and didn't even mock my pathetic attempts at talking in Portuguese. Not to my face, at any rate...Lisbon is almost as welcoming as its people, the weather warm and sunny even in February, and I had a blast discovering the city.

    But the best part of having a car hire in Portugal is that you soon discover there is plenty to be seen within driving distance.

    On the advise of a friendly shopkeeper who offered me the most delicious custard tarts I've ever tasted, I drove to Sintra, a picturesque village not too far from Lisbon. Byron once called it a 'glorious Eden', and he was not wrong.
    The whole village looks taken out of a fairy-tale book, surrounded by mountains and forests, home to stately manor houses and beautiful palaces. I half expected a pixie to show up from behind a tree or to suddenly discover a princess looking for her lost slipper ;).

    All good things come to an end, but I'll be sure to come back to Portugal!

    Those custard tarts alone are bound to haunt me...What about you? Ever been to Portugal?

    Tell me all about your favourite sunny destinations! ;)

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