Trip Start Jul 24, 2012
Trip End Dec 17, 2012

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Flag of Portugal  , Estremadura,
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Today our adventures took us to Sintra. We took about an hour bus ride up the coast which was a lovely drive but also quite exciting as the roads were mostly single lane but 2 ways and winding with blind turns, all of which the bus driver took at full speed. We stopped at Cabo da Roca which is the western most part of mainland Europe on our way.
Apparently Sintra was originally a largely barren hill that was transformed into a mosaic of flora from all over the world including, Brazil, USA, Japan, and many other countries. We visited 2 castles in Sintra the first, Pena National Palace began as a monastery in the 1500's and then was renovated by King Don Fernando II in the late 1800's after being abandoned by the monks. This palace was very beautiful with the typical Portuguese tile and bright colors but also gargoyles and statues bringing in styles of many different cultures, especially Germany where the king was originally from. However, the real treasure was the gardens. They were amazing. Mentioned above, the trees were imported from all over the world was a monumental task but one that creates an almost fairy tale feel, as Nicole remarked she thought this would be a place where fairy's would live. The second was the Regaleira Palace which was Nicole's favorite, not for the palace but the underground tunnels. These tunnels would take you between a waterfall, an unfinished well and a subterranean tower 27 meters deep. It was pitch black in these tunnels and people were using their phones as flashlights. The tunnels would weave all through the gardens and it was a surprise where you would come out. We hope you enjoy the pictures and videos which can only give a glimpse of what Sintra is really like.
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sandy foraker on

we love seeing and reading about your travels. I know you are having fun!!

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