Travel to Portugal – Sintra

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Sun Sand Sea

2013’s big holiday trip was to Portugal. I wanted a trip that had a lot of lazing about, with a dash of history and one beautiful European city thrown in.

The flights were via Zurich and Munich. The airports had fun views of green hills, etc.

Landing in Lisbon, I was stunned by the intensely blue skies and the warm sunshine. The decent metro system and easy to use metro apps (and maps) meant we were in the hotel within the hour.

The first trip from Lisbon was to Sintra, an historic town off the coast of the Atlantic. The many 19th century palaces and the 11th century Moorish castle provide spectacular views of the surrounding greenery and the distant waters of the ocean.

We reached Sintra by train and walked to Quinta da Regaleira. The palace is fine enough, but the grounds are super stunning. I’ve always had a healthy disregard for nature, especially the kind that bites me, dirties my shoes and causes general discomfort. The guy who built it has infused whimsy into all the boring nature. There are countless grottoes, passageways, hidden steps, fountains and wells. We spent more than 2 hours exploring the grounds. Brilliant stuff!

PicMonkey Collage

I don’t know much about architecture, but seeing the palaces, it is easy to understand why the style is called Romantic. 🙂

We then took a bus up to the Moorish castle ( loads of walking uphill to do there) and to Pena Palace.

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The giant Jesus-with-arms-outstretched statue in Rio has a counterpart in Lisbon! I did not know that. Got to see it from the train back to the city. The train was traversing a bridge and the railings kept getting in the way of a good picture. I only had my phone camera for the whole trip. I like to think this freed me up to soak in the sights instead of clicking away 😛

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode : Albufeira, my indolence finds new highs!

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