We’ve already finished 50% of our week here in Portugal! Times really flies when you’re having fun. But we’re still going strong, because time is precious and there’s still so much left to see and do.
Today we set our alarm clock a little bit earlier then the days before, because the weather should be great today, so today is Sintra day!! Sintra has this amazing beautiful castle on top of a mountain which you can see from the high way. Yesterday it was packed with clouds, but luckily it was all sunny and clear up on the mountain. Woohoo!
Yesterday we drove past Sintra, to see if we could fit in Sintra as well, after we were on our way back from Cascais, but it was so busy! When you drive up to the castle you’re passing the city of Sintra and this is quite a small street. It was crowded with touring cars and loads and loads of tourists. Since it was already around 4 o’clock in the afternoon and this drive really took forever, we decided to turn around and head home. Today we were lucky once again. It was less crowded and I don’t know if tourists do other stuff on Sundays but there were also less tourists. Unfortunately Sintra’s main tourist attraction is where we were heading to, so it was crowded any way. The attraction I’m talking about it is Palácio da Pena. It is one of the weirdest castles you can imagine. It’s not your usual medieval castle with large, dark coloured brick walls and drawbridges. No, this castle is one of your LEGO castles you built in your youth. Bright colours all mixed together. See the pictures if you don’t believe me.
The castle itself isn’t medieval at all. It’s around 200 years old and only had a few royal family members owning it. Now you can enter the castle for 30 Euros per person and walk around in the large park that lies around it. And with large I mean large… humongous, mega, extremely big. So we stayed at Palácio da Pena and the park for more than four hours. The pictures will tell you all. To be honest I quite liked this different kind of palace/ castle. The bright colours are really nice and don’t give you that eerie feel, that some castles can give you. Palácio da Pena looks upon the old Castelo dos Mouros, which we didn’t visit.
The park that lies around Palácio da Pena is home to: Horse stables, lakes, greenhouses, a little goat meadow, the beautiful chalet of the Countess of Edla and loads of different plants and trees. And to be honest, when you’re walking that far from the castle, it’s possible to not see any tourists for hours!
This day at the palace was great! When heading home we decided to not go into the town of Sintra itself. It looked much focused on tourists, which we hate, and it’s so narrow to park your car without stressing it’s not going to be damaged by other cars passing by. So after concluding we were not about to hit the city centre, we drove all the way home and dipped into the pool and had some relaxing last few hours of the day.