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Trip Report The perfect Pastel de Nata and browsing shops in Sintra

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Before going to Portugal, I read every hint and tip I could find. One such tip was to go to the Pastelaria Gregorio (33-35 Av D Francisco de Almeida) in Sintra for the Pastel de Nata. After visiting the Pena Castle, we decided to find this bakery. We returned to town on the bus and got off at the train station. The TI was open so we asked the TI representative to give us directions to the bakery. It was an easy find. We went back out to the front of the station and turned right. We walked up the street a long block to first street to the right, Av D Francisco de Almeda. We turned right and walked about two blocks and crossed to the left side of the street and there it was.

It was a small place with an outside area with tables and chairs. We asked the shop woman if she sold beer and she looked at us like we had lost our minds. We interpretted that look as "no" but she immediately produced three beers. It was a "Yes!". I guess she thought we were crazy to wonder if she sold beer. We all ordered a couple of savory "empanada" type buns and a Pastel de Nata. Ah! The first bite of the Nata and we were in love. Everyone pointed out its various attributes and immediately went back to the counter for more. Ummm- creamy, smooth, oh so good. We sat visiting. One of our kids called from Paris to say "hi". The sun was nice and we sat for quite a while relaxing.

We finally left there and walked back along the street toward the main street. There is a dress shop on the opposite side of the road. My friend and I went in. The two owners were there. One said she had just opened this shop along with her friend who sold her dad's hand made jewelry. The clothes she carried were very pretty. Beautiful prints. My friend tried on a dress which looked really nice. The owner told us she was a breast cancer survivor and she was very careful to order dresses which were figure flattering. The other owner told us about her dad's home made jewelry. Beautiful signature pieces.

While we were in this shop, our husbands were across the street in the MAN shops. There was a hunting shop on the street level and a fishing shop in the basement. My husband was very happy. But funny enough, he didn't buy anything. Almost everything there was the same stuff he uses here at home.

We walked back toward the station. We passed a nice park area which we would normally explored but it was getting time to catch a train. We stopped at a couple of souvenir shops. We did notice that the prices on "standard" souvenirs like the cork products were cheaper in Sintra than in Lisbon. (Tip- the cheapest place in Lisbon was the El Corte Ingles above the Parque Eduardo. They have a small section of souvenirs but the prices were the best we found by far.)

That ends our day in Sintra. We climbed back on the train and headed home to Lisbon.(Another tip- don't go to the Starbucks in the train station. We watched the cleaning staff pick up used toilet paper from the floor with her bare hands, then clean the toilet with her same hands and a rag, and then use the same toilet rag on the sink and taps. Ah- not quite as sanitary as one would like. No one needs a GI disease on vacation.)

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