Friday, November 21, 2014

Portugal: Sintra

Sintra was amazing, we truly had a perfect day! This city was like a fairy tale, so magical, we felt like we were in a storybook. We just ran from one thing to the next and enjoyed every second of it. We visited palaces, castles, secret gardens... it was truly a fantasy land. The whole village was well kept, you could tell that a lot of money was coming into this place because it was so different than Lisbon. Everything was in pristine condition and truly beautiful. We took a lot of photos for just one day of travel, but it was so interesting and beautiful that we just kept our cameras out. 

We woke up early in Lisbon and took a train to Sintra. Just outside the train station was a bus that must coordinate with the train from Lisbon to accommodate tourists, because this bus was unique in that it went to all the most touristy places. It was cheap, just five euro for Stan and I, and Gregory was like three euros and the other two were free. George and William were free of charge at every place we visited. That was nice, and Gregory was charged at a discounted rate since he was younger than twelve. 

This tourist bus, that resembled just a normal city bus, took us to:
There was more to see than these four places, but in one day this was all we could do and we were told these were the four "must sees" in Sintra, and we really enjoyed each place. 

It's hard to say that I loved one place over another, but Palácio e Quinta da Regaleira was wonderful and just so different than anywhere we had been before. It was like a secret garden. There were literally tunnels and secret passages that linked different parts of the garden to other parts of the garden. One tunnel linked the house to the church, others linked the large well to a waterfall pond area. Some parts of the garden were like a jungle, and there were lovely stone structures hidden in the greenery. It was like a giant playground for the boys, then ran up and down these mini castles, and they loved walking down the 98 steps into a giant well which lead to an underground tunnel. In interest of time we did not plan to walk the entire grounds, but we got a bit lost and we basically ended up seeing just about everything. I was secretly happy, I just loved being lost in this tropical paradise!

Here's the pond, to get to the other side we had to hop over on these rocks. I cannot believe that we all made it across without falling in. And we ended up doing it twice, so we were really lucky!

After our day traveling around Sintra, we ate at pizza hut, I had a nice chicken salad and the boys all had personal pan pizzas. We took the train from Sintra to Lisbon and headed back to our apartment for our last night there. The next day we were heading to Obidos, which ended up being my favorite place overall. The last three photos are of Lisbon after our train ride from Sintra.

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