Friday, June 5, 2009

A Sorta Fairytale

If I was living in my own dream reality, or had I been born into royalty, I'd know exactly where I'd want to spend my life. All my days would be spent in the Pena Palace. It's situated high above the hills of Sintra with breathtaking views of the landscape below in all directions. On a clear day it can be seen all the way from Lisbon. There are acres and acres of gardens surrounding the palace, and even more acres of a tropical like forest to explore. But the most striking feature of all is the palace itself. The design, the color, the beauty... no wonder it's one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.

But neither fairytale character nor royalty live in the Palace any longer, since Portugal is now a Republic. The current descendants of the royal family live in the valley of Sintra. Instead the palace is open to the public, so that as they tour the palace they can dream of a life that would actually allow them to live there... even if it only were for a week.

The city of Sintra the perfect backdrop for the Palace. The quaint city is full of character and plenty of delicious pastries to boot! Since it's located at the bottom of the hill, you're provided with two options of reaching the palace and Moorish Castle which is just below the palace, if you don't have a car. A) You can hike up the hill for 5 miles, which some gung-ho tourists do, or B) take the lazy route and pay for a bus ride up. And even though the cost of the bus ride is as much as the round trip train ticket from Lisbon to Sintra, we can attest that it's worth every penny.


Kristi said...

HOw amazing! I am so glad you get to do all of these great things and see such wonderful places. Eat some good stuff for me. :)

Bald n Beautiful said...

Claire I love you blog. It is like I get to visit Europe too. Life outside of diapers and cleaning.