A Visit to Sintra and the summer palaces

Trip Start Jun 06, 2014
Trip End Jun 21, 2014

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Flag of Portugal  , Lisbon,
Monday, June 9, 2014

We both had trouble sleeping last night (Yvonne blames the sangria) and we both were groggy this morning.  The trip this morning was to the small town of Sintra, located 15 miles north of Lisbon. It is the location of the summer palaces of Portuguese royalty for over 500 years. The town is at a higher elevation near the sea and a perfect location to escape the summer heat of Lisbon. It is mountainous with lush green valleys. People with money and who wanted to be near royalty also built their estates nearby so there are plenty of "palaces" in the area. 

We visited the National Palace(Palacio National), which dates to the 15th century and is the oldest palace in the area. Originally started as a hunting lodge it was expanded over time and now meanders over the hillside with multiple levels and corresponding steps that need to be traversed.  Although it has been called the Versailles of Portugal it is nowhere as elegant or size of the real thing. It does have some great period furniture and porcelain tile which decorate its walls. An interesting feature is its massive kitchen with twin conical chimneys (to eliminate smoke from the fires).  It contains a spit large enough to roast an entire cow and a very large iron "warming cabinet" powered by charcoal to warm the dinner plates and keep the meals warm before serving.  And you thought that warming drawers were new!

After an hour to explore Sintra on our own we returned to Lisbon via the seaside resort area of Cascais- lots of sandy beaches, big waves and fancy hotels on the Atlantic Ocean.

A longer than normal nap regenerated our bodies and we are now preparing to go out to a local restaurant for dinner and to experience a Fado show, the national music of Portugal.

Weather remains perfect and we are hoping it lasts.
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Stan on

How many bottles of Sangria did Yvonne consume?

Annette Landvatter on

What is the range of temperatures? Everything is so very beautiful! Your travel log on the facts and history is terrific.

Looking for to the next entry.


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