Enchanted by Castles Part 4 (A little bit of Knowledge can make a Difference)

On our way, riding the train to Sintra with a sense of confidence, because now we know what are we doing.  The day start with a magical flow and stress free.  We felt like local! We knew exactly what to do and what to expect, this time we were not afraid of making decisions or afraid of the unknown. Once we walk to the little town that was waiting for us once again, we went directly to the tourist office to get more information about the castles that we were going to see that day; Sintra National Palace, Quinta da Regaleira and Montserrat Palace.

First in our list was the Sintra National Palace, we didn’t need to take the bus because this palace is located on the heart of the town, in the middle of the mountains. The Moorish Castle and the Pena Palace have to look down to see their royal neighbor. A little tip, if you know that you are visiting more than one palace, they offer packages or bundles that may save you and euro or two. We bought a ticket for two palaces Sintra National Palace and Montserrat Palace for 25 euros. Quinta da Regaleira didn’t have that offer.

One of the things that we learn about Sintra National Palace it’s that its the best preserved medieval Royal Palace in Portugal, having been inhabited more or less continuously at least from the early 15th up to the late 19th century.  One of the things that highlight my visit was that in the 15th Century King Duarte I had a lot of influence in the construction of the palace and his son Jon I loved this palace. Sooooooo!!! let me tell you! I am Duarte, that means I have royal family in my blood!! 🙂 Discovering that was the best part of visiting Sintra National Palace! LOL

Ok here are some pics…


Panoramic view
View of the town and the Moorish Castle from Sintra National Palace


King Duarte!






After leaving my royal past, we headed to the bus stop, and we waited like a Pros, but this time we took the 435.  The 435 bus route is in a circle, locals take it to move around town. In its route it pass by this three Sintra’s gems, also it goes by the five-star palace hotel:Tivoli Palácio de Seteais.  Well after we hoped in the bus, no far down we encounter the fascinating view of the Quinta da Regaleira.  Quinta da Regaleira its a creepy looking palace, very Gothic style! The whole property, the Chapel, the Palace, the Towers, tunnels, gardens, fountains, everything have a mysterious feel, was like entering another dimension. I felt like I was in a movie, one of those that you are not sure of the ending…  I will show you a picture so you can have a sense of what I am trying to describe, but the rest of our story I will leave it for Part 5. Next part I will share some videos too, even some silly ones.



Until the…

xamlinnette 🙂

Enchanted by Castles Part 1

20131106-112455.jpgI live and work in a very touristic place, where the Cinderella Castle is a trademark, and people from all around the world wants to come and take a look to at this fantasy Castle and take pictures of the enchanted moment. But for me it goes in another way, I am drowning with passion and desire to discover the world, be enchanted by the real things that happen somewhere else and be a witness of that. Never imagined that my first pick, Portugal, was going to give me the taste of exciting real castles, palaces and even more. I did not just traveled over there, with every encounter with the majestic palaces, I was also traveling back in time. Wondering how these gems were able to be on top of mountains; I wondered about the absolute craziness of the decorations, gargoyles in some of them, the art and mysterious believes that were hiding within those walls or ruins.

In our way to Sintra, 35 minutes of local traveling, we sat in the train like any other Portuguese, in their everyday life errands. The difference is that they were probably going to work or running errands, we were going to find the treasure of the past that its hard to see in  modern Lisbon. Looking out of the window I see decorated walls with the famous street art that every city these day have (graffiti).  Buildings with poor painting look, laundry hanging on windows, in general, a look that is familiar in some city areas.  Leaving the city behind our view was decorated with green mountains, and from a distance now much closer to Sintra we can see resting on top of one of the mountains a fortifying wall of a castle.  While the locals are probably tired of that regular view for them, my heart started dancing with my smile of excitement.

A second after we put our feet in Sintra, everybody disappeared in different directions. Jorge and I stood in front of the station not knowing where to go. I was looking for people, crowds, tourists or a tourist office, but nothing. Our internal compass told us that we were going to walk uphill, we can see two castles on top of the mountain, sitting by each other like good neighbors. My GPS didn’t work there and we did not have a paper map. We walked wondering how we were going to get up there, following the streets signs, literally in a mission to find at least one castle. Finally the green mountains start showing us the life that lies within them, people, buses, shops, pastellerias and more suddenly popped out forming a cute little town full of life. To our right, another majestic building in the middle of the little town at the end of the street I saw the most wonderful words “TOURIST INFORMATION CENTER”.  Ahhhhh! a glorious celestial sound to my ears when I read those beautiful words. We entered, grabbed all the little guides of everything they can offer, we made the line like good tourists and waited for our turn to bombard the tourist guide with questions. Finally!!! We found out how to get to those ruins that we saw from the distance… The Moorish Castle!

I will tell you in the second part what you have to do, if someday you want an adventure in Portugal and be enchanted by the castles. Also I will share my pics and the end of our adventure day with the Pena Palace.

xamlinnette 🙂