After we left the creepy and intriguing property of Quinta da Regaleira, once again took then 435 bus and it was like changing the channels! We went from the Twilight Zone to Aladdin of Disney Channel. Monserrat’s Palace is elegant, with beautiful gardens across the property.
Eyes wide open, I felt like I was entering a third dimension time of the “Twilight Zone”. I had a flashback of me childhood when I used to watch this TV series in black and white, but now it was like the TV swallow me and I was seen thing in color and real.
Our first encounter was with a small chapel.
After exploring the small religious place we went down the stair that lead us to a tunnel that took us to the Quinta the Regaleira Palace. Few story tall, we explore the gothic building, each dark floor had some history to explain. There were some areas that were closed to the public which awake my curiosity wondering what was hidden in those rooms… My imagination could be a little wild when everything looks so mysterious. Creating my own story based on knowing that one of the many owners of this land Carvalho Monteiro was kind of mystic and wanted to build this palace base on symbols and ideologies that represented his interest and believes and that the building have hiding symbols related to alchemy, Masonry, Knights and Rosicrucians; I was wondering if this inaccessible areas could talk, what kind of thing they will wisper…. I scared myself just to think about it.
Later out of the palace there were so much more to discover… tunnels throughout the property, wells, fountains, monuments, towers…. Let me show you! Come with me!
The Quinta da Regaleira its an attraction that if you want to see every corner of the property you could spend easily three hours or more. That is something that Jorge and me didn’t have… time. It was kind of our fault for waking up late, but we were really tired the day before… well is a chain reaction kind of thing. It was impossible for us to wake up early and going without having breakfast. It’s very important to plan well and leave sometime to rest, that way you can take more advantage of the time and see as much as you can in this magnificent palaces. Each have its own charm, with so much to see. By the way in any of our experiences we were able to see all the property of all the palaces. Each palace we visited had a bigger property, like parks with so much to see. Any ways we wanted to see one more castle that day, the Montserrat’s Palace so we had to go before was too late.
Once again we took the 435 bus which left us in front of our new adventure… The Montserrat’s Palace, with this next castle, I will finish, finally my little story of Enchanted by Castle… The last post will be Part 6 where I will share the last part of our second day in Sintra.
I wish I have more spare time to write my post more quickly, I apology for taking so long to post this little stories about our trip. I have so much to share and will like to talk about other subjects that might help others when visiting Lisbon, Portugal. I personally struggle with time, having a full-time job and been a full-time mom, plus I am the leader of the theater team for my church and our scripts and presentations are original written and direct it by me… Right now we are working on our Christmas play and I started to write the new script for Easter. So time its a valuable thing that some times runs away from my hands. Well…. until then, hopefully I will have part 6 sooner than it took Part 5.
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…
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.
With our tummies full and us rested it, was time for us to continue our last adventure of the day. It was our time to conquer the Romanticist 19th Century Palace. Above Sintra, sitting in a top of a hill, the colored Palace not only was sitting with majesty but also its humble by the beauty of the park that surrounds the Palace.
Just looking around I can imagine so many scenarios of those time, like coming in my horse, dress with a huge dress, tight on the top, taking my breathed away. The dress had to be long and big from the waist down. Then, we can add a touch with white delicate long gloves and a large hair do with tight curls and a hat. Ahhhh life in the past!
We wanted to see the outside of the castle first, the view was mix with low clouds that came for a visit, making the ambience cool and comfortable. At the distance you can see the arabic ruins that we left behind earlier. The cool breeze gave me a feel of freedom and literally I felt free! Of course I was vacationing and knowing that I was investing my time in such amazing experience that involved exercise, history, culture, beauty and time travel!! Oh yes, I felt free… Well
If the outside make you wonder… Wait to see the inside, the furniture, the indoor patios…
When we finished exploring every corner that was allowed to be explored the only thing that was crossing our minds was all the events that we had to go through to go back to the hotel. The 434 bus, the 35 minutes train ride, the 30 minutes walk up hill the Avenida Liberdade. At that time was already half of the night and still we were needing to get dinner and sleep to repeat all the process all over again because the next day we were going back to Sintra. Still at 3 more palaces that we wanted to see. Actually there were more, but we didn’t have the time to see everything.
In part 4, I will share with you how easy was for us the next day, a little bit of knowledge can make the difference. I will talk about The National Palace of Sintra and maybe about Quinta da Regaleira. I think I might have to do a part 5, I don’t want to overwhelm you with so many pictures and videos. Its better a little bit at a time. Ok… Until then…
I 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.