August 07, 2009


Using our Lisboa card, we took the train to Sintra. We departed from a station originally designed for the Orient Express and thus decorated with beautiful tiles.

After arriving in Sintra, we began our steep ascent into town, passing sculptures of interest to distract us from the efforts of our climb.

After a thorough history lecture by Anna, we climbed even higher to reach Quinta da Regaleria. Carvalho Monteiro purchased this estate in 1892. He proceeded to add grottos, a chapel, tunnels, fountains, lakes and all sorts of bits to reflect his particular spiritual beliefs. Wandering around the estate and discovering something fascinating to ponder every few minutes was delightful.

It was nice to descend back into town for coffee and pastries before our tour of Palácio Nacional de Sintra. This ornately tiled and decorated room was the highlight.

Now it was time to take the bus to the top of the mountain to visit the Palace de Pena. While the guys bought tickets to the gardens and headed for the beverage kiosk and tables, Heather and I opted to visit the palace. It was another long steep climb to the palace and a very long queue to tour the interior (no photos of course). The views of the surrounding forest and to the sea were fantastic.

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