One of the most amazing places in Europe, man-made, it has to be, Sintra! It is the Tyrol of Iberia but in a more condense and romantic fashion. If I were to choose between Venezia, Rome, Tyrol or Sintra, with no hesitation I would choose the last one. I was here before, in passing, and I felt in love! 😍 So much, that in the end I hated Lisbon and with the first money save, I booked a ticket to go back! The first trip can be found at a post from the 14th of April 2017.
The second trip started with a long journey with the Alfa Pendular, from Braga to Lisbon Oriente and from there to Sintra.
It is my first trip in which I took no photos of the train, at departure. The reason behind this is that I felt very sick 🤒 .
On that Friday, I came at work pretty excited that I will leave to Sintra after work. By 12 a clock I started to feel a huge migraine. At the infirmary they said I have a big fever and I should go home. They will do the necessary, so that I may leave immediately.
I told them that its out of question, since, actually, I have to go to Sintra to which trip I have already paid everything. So I asked for some pills and…
It had to be the most awful trip by train ever. The Alfa Pendular, it actually tilts ALL journey like a pendular (left/right). All trip! I was regretting every second my choice… I was sick, now this… In the state I was, due to the lateral balancing I got even more sick.
Basically, by the time the train was at Porto (40 minutes into the trip) , I was praying to arrive at the pension faster and faster. I was cold, I was sweating, I was eyes closed and prayed not to shame myself …
Somehow I arrived at Sintra close to midnight, I bought the most natural vinegar (chose an expensive one, I did an onion tea, and a big and hot bath in vinegar. I drank the onion tea and…
I had a dream, that I was in Sintra,, on the streets and I had to sort the tourists in their rooms. It was like I had to solve a puzzle. I woke up from this dream tired, like after 10 hours of sleep, just to realize I slept just almost 2 hours. I went back to sleep and thought of the puzzle. By the time I made it, my fever dropped, and at 8 in the morning I was almost like new. I remembered all my dream and I found very weird that my mind assimilated the headache with puzzle solving.
I write now this story, to let people who read this, that there are faster, more effective means of curing yourself, than pills… onion tea and vinegar in hot bath. Ah, also, I put vinegar on my socks so that it helps me during the sleep.
Yep the smell of vinegar in the morning, was not really the Channel No. 5, but at least I was well back on my feet.
While drinking a coffee I saw this beautiful house on Rua General Alves Rocadas.
The first thing I wanted to see, was not Pena Palace (the one I missed at my first trip), but a very special place: Quinta da Regaleira.
To go there, is actually very easy, since there is not so much climbing to do and you can take some shortcuts with stairs. Also, is the first tourist attraction (even if on map Castelo dos Mouros seems more close…)
Camara Munincipal de Sintra (town hall)
To be honest, first time I saw the town hall, It remembered me of the one from Calais… It really has a beautiful architecture, and what helps more, is that the houses that are around this place, they all look equally good and with lots of beautiful flowers.
Lantana Camara flower.
Sintra National Palace (maybe this should be the first visit, but I chose just to admire it from the outside.)
A beautiful view over the wall of the Castle of the Moors.
This is how people at Sintra (but also in most touristic towns in Portugal) decorate their houses.
A beautiful view of Sintra Palace (at the left in the distance), Igreja de Sao Martinho (centre of the image) and a locals house.
Following the Barbosa du Bocage Road, there is a full of hearts cascade, Cascata dos Pisoes (Footprints Cascade.
It was a pretty challenging photo to make, since the angle of the sun, made very bright areas while keeping the forest in very dark tones. In reality, I did not have a hard time seeing things like so, but the Canon 80D had huge issues. Luckily, raw footage hides shadows that can be lighten up, and also bright spots can be darken to show more details.
Pisoes Loggia, or perhaps and old entry into Quinta da Regaleira.
Quinta da Regaleira Main House.
To get inside the property you need to go more side by side with the wall.
A cat enjoying the sun ☀️ at the Middle Gate.
Inside, you can serve yourself with a map that will be very useful (it also tells a short history of this great place).
So from the entry, after doing a few shots of this beautiful fountain, I climbed the hills to get to the Initiatic Well. It looks like a tower from the oriental movies (actually there is a lot of oriental influence in these parts of the country) that instead of going up, it goes deep in the mountains (27 meters).
At the bottom there was not water, just humidity and a refreshing cold temperature.
Perhaps this is not unique and even some people who look on this article, will say that they saw a bigger well.
For me, this is a very impressive place and even more than that, it makes you feel small and not so powerful anymore. There is another well that looks unfinished and while I have pictures of it, I did not choose any. However, the Initiatic Well, has a tunnel that leads to the Eastern Grotto.
You go a bit thru almost complete darkness to arrive at the other extreme of the estate. Just imagine being a kid and living in this kind of place. You would have like a small kingdom.
Portal of the Guardians. Another pretty cool place that offers a view over Sintra, but also the possibility to play chess on a round table.
At the Workshop of the Arts/Services, there was a big Disco-ball and a huge number of empty chairs, around the area.
This place in a few minutes brought up the kid in me. Suddenly I would stop to make photos of everything. Bugs, plants, leaves, trails, forgotten Aquariums and to top everything, I took out my filters, and begin to experiment. Here is the Polarized and Orange tint filters, aimed towards Regaleira Tower (on the last article, it will be shown an time-lapse shot on top of this tower).
You think only Versailles has hidden spots where you could stop and talk about the future of the country? No way, this one has more, and more diverse too.
White Hortensia. Actually I am not so sure, Viburnum looks similar, except it has 5 petals, instead of 4 like the flower in image bellow.
Deutzia (I think…)
Detail shot of the Fountain of Regaleira, a large fountain/wall made just like a mosaic, but not of ceramics tiles, but small rocks.
View over the Chapel and the Main House.
A window to the greenhouse.
Cultusintra Foundation – HQ of this public organization.
Inside the Main House, entrance
The Hunting Room.
The Main House is definitely a place to visit, even though from the outside is not so beautiful. And also in some ways, it does not fit to the landscape (as the 3rd article will prove).
The gardens here at Sintra are just huge and full of vegetation and stone. But is not everywhere the same.
I was chasing this lizard, when suddenly, a butterfly came right there. After one or two seconds, the lizard turns around and the butterfly is scared and flies away. So yes, in a 6 image burst I had the butterfly in frame and after that, no.
One of the many cats, sitting in the sun.
A very beautiful Japanese Spindle ( Evonymus japonicus)
Inside the chapel. On the roof, at the entrance there is also the illuminati symbol.
View over the main house.
Two lions sleeping 😴 on a bench.
The small lake in front of the Labyrinth Grotto.
Balnearium Fountain. It shares the same type of mosaic like the beautiful Regaleira Fountain.
Half a day was spent here, but it can be easily transformed into 1 month. And perhaps not even after that, I would not have done the perfect images of every area.
This domain is so beautiful that it sits on the 3rd place. (No 2. being Venezia, No 1. Monserrate).
To be continued…