Friday, January 15, 2010

Magical Sintra...

When I first told people that I was going to Portugal, they all said that I should visit Sintra, and boy, am I glad I did! Sintra is a historic town where Portuguese royalty resided for many years and is located just 30 minutes by train from Lisbon. Once I arrived at the train station, it only took me 10 minutes to walk all the way up to the town centre. Once there, I purchased round trip tickets to go by minibus to the Moorish Castle, Pena Palace and the Quinta da Regaleira estate.

The wall layout of the Moorish Castle somewhat looks like the Great Wall of China, although much smaller of course. I walked up to the towers to enjoy breathtaking views of Sintra and could even spot the colorful Pena Palace from there.

I totally loved the Pena Palace. It was truly magical, with its vibrant colors, round towers and mix of various architecture styles. The photos say it all...

After seeing these two magnificent sites, I had a picnic lunch and went on to visit the Quinta da Regaleira estate, which consists of a palace, a chapel and a park. This park is so different from any I have seen before as it has caves, tunnels, wells, lakes and fountains. I walked on a detached stone pavement set in a small lake to enter a long, winding cave, and eventually climbed up a well to enter a whole different area of the park! Adventurous, eh?! It really was loads of fun, trying not to bump into people in the dark and fidgeting around to find the way out! This is a great place to play Hide and Seek:)!

Sintra is a must see if you go to Portugal and make sure you allocate a whole day to visit this lovely Unesco World Heritage site!



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