Sintra Journals

Portugal's Glorious Eden

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An April 2001 trip to Sintra by Re Carroll

Sintra Photo, Sintra, Portugal More Photos
Quote: Lord Byron called this small town "Glorious Eden" back in the early 1800s and I think he'd feel the same today. Although very touristy, it is Portugal at its prettiest.

Portugal's Glorious Eden

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Overview

Sintra Photo, Sintra, Portugal
Quote:
Sintra makes an easy day trip from Lisbon via bus or train. I took the train from Lisbon's Rossio station and the 45 minute trip cost 210 escudos (less than .00 US) each way. Sintra is full of beautiful old pastel coloured houses with red tile roofs set amid lots of trees and the effect is charming and very picturesque. Most homes and gardens are very well maintained and have lovely tiled name plates. As you travel up the hill to the Pena Palace and Castelo dos Mouros, there are some lovely estates bordered by iron fences. As well as the major sights, Sintra is a joy to wander through and there is an interesting local market with lots of food stalls as well as clothing and household...Read More

Cafe Fernando

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Restaurant

Quote:
Just a bit out of the central core, this small cafe/pasteleria serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and light meals, including lots of fresh pastries. Try a rice tart or any one of the yummy looking French pastries. The indoor tables are usually filled with tourists taking a break from sightseeing and locals who want to watch a soccer match on the overhead TVs. Prices are reasonable and service is friendly. There are no waiters: you order at the bar and then find a table at which you can relax. This is a good place to try ginja - a Portuguese cherry liqueur that reminded me of cherry brandy. Locals order tiny cups of (strong) coffee and have a shot of brandy or similar li...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2001

Cafe Fernando
Rua Higimo de Sousa 4
Sintra, Portugal

Palacio Nacional Da Pena - National Palace

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Attraction | "Palacio Nacional de la Pena"

Palacio Nacional Da Pena - National Palace Photo, Sintra, Portugal
Quote:
Without a doubt, the Pena Palace was my favourite place in Sintra and probably all of Portugal. The Palace sits high above town and is surrounded by a lush green forest. It was built in the 19th century and is a hodge podge of styles and colours. The many rooms of the Palace contain period furniture but each room is cordoned off so you can only admire it from the doorway. I loved the inlaid mother of pearl furniture in the Queen's Secretary's Room. The massive kitchen filled with copper pots and large cauldrons is open to walk through. A guard is in place to make sure you don't touch anything but you get a good idea of what it was like to operate a kitchen during that time period. Outside the k...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2001

Palacio Nacional Da Pena - National Palace
Pena Park
Sintra, Portugal

Castelo Dos Mouros - Castle of the Moors

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Attraction | "Castelo dos Mouros"

Castelo Dos Mouros - Castle of the Moors Photo, Sintra, Portugal
Quote:
These Moorish castle ruins stand high above Sintra like a lonely sentinel guarding the town. There is no charge to enter the site and local bus #434 stops just outside the entrance. You definitely need to be in decent physical shape to climb around the ruins and it's a good idea to carry water with you. Not only are there hundreds of steps but they are uneven and slippery in spots so you need to have good traction on your shoes. There isn't much left of the castle, just the walls and stairs that climb to various view points. The town is spread below and you can see far away to the Atlantic Ocean. There was a pretty strong wind blowing on the day I was there and it came in ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2001

Castelo Dos Mouros - Castle of the Moors
Estrada da Pena
Sintra, Portugal

Palacio Nacional Da Pena - National Palace

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Attraction | "Palacio Nacional de la Villa de Sintra"

Quote:
Unlike the Pena Palace, many of the rooms can be toured although there are always guards nearby to make sure you don't touch anything. I was very impressed with the long Swans Hall where each wooden ceiling panel had a painting of a swan. The Coat of Arms Room had a 16th century wooden ceiling with the Royal Coat of Arms in its centre and the walls were fully covered with blue and white tiles. Greatly influenced by Arab customs, an informal dining room was tiled from floor to ceiling and had a water fountain in the middle of the floor. Guests used this to wash their hands and then sat on the floor to eat their meals. Much of the decor and furnishings are from the 15th century and th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2001

Palacio Nacional Da Pena - National Palace
Pena Park
Sintra, Portugal