Saturday, October 24
Today we visit Sintra, a beautiful town in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains, near Lisbon. It is about a half hour car and train ride for us from our Caxias apartment. The Sintra National Palace is easily identified by its large twin chimneys.It is about a half hour walk from the train station to the palace, in the drizzling rain. I stop to visit with this cute little fellow. There are numerous statues all along the curving uphill walk to the palace.
The palace is spectacular and one of its main features are the ceilings. They are all ornately decorated. This is the ceiling of the Swan Room, decorated with 27′ swans in different poses.
The Magpie Room celebrates one of my favourite birds. It dates back to the 15th Century and it has136 magpies, each holding the king’s banner in its beak and a white rose in its claws.
Bob liked the Galley Room whose domed ceiling is covered with 17th and 18th century seascapes and vessels of the naval powers of the time, the Ottomans, Dutch, and Portuguese.
The Blazons Hall ceiling has the Portuguese Royal Arms, the coats of arms of the eight children of King Manuel I and the coats of arms of the 72 most influential families of the kingdom. The walls are covered with beautiful blue and white tiled scenes. It is a stunning room.
We spent about two hours in the palace and then found a quiet little reading room where we had a rest and ate our lunch. It was raining so we weren’t in a rush to get back outside, but eventually we explore some of the streets and shops before our walk to the train.
Some of the shops are very small, like this one, which was only about four feet wide… and the streets are very narrow.
Back at the train station parking lot I notice this wall of street art/graffiti. It is much nicer than most of the graffiti we have seen and we have seen a lot of it. Unfortunately most of it is pretty ugly and it is often defacing private property.These morning glory vines are growing on a wall near our Caxias apartment. The ones we plant at home never grow anywhere near as wonderfully as these.
The morning glories were my favorite photo. We have visited Sintra so it was nice to refresh our memory of where we were when I was pregnant with Erik!