Park of Pena – Sintra – PT

castle.pngOnce you start to like a place, is difficult to leave it. This was me at Quinta da Regaleira. I was wondering if I stayed enough or if I should go back to the Initiatic Well and see it again and again. Or I should take another soup or just read a book of the lion bench. But more and more tourists were gathering so I went towards the exit.

Next destination, Pena.

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There are more ways to get from Regaleira to Pena. One of them being with the cab, or taxi or on the main road. I personally preferred hiking. And there are actually many people that prefers to get on top of the mountain on foot, on mountain trails.

The path has interesting displays from exotic flowers, to Buddhist symbols. Also along the trail I saw many people climbing huge rocks with ropes. Rock Climbing is a thing in this park.

On that day there were also scouts from various houses, each team having a unique color. Once reached a milestone on the journey, they had a certain tasks to do, one of them being a game with a small rope. They make different nodes that another team member has to untie. Or at least this is what I got from it.

Is it heavy to climb? I saw elder people on the trail and also young girls and boys in slippers, so I would not say it is impossible. It is true that most people wear boots, and I do suggest them also.

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Lots and lots of stairs to go to Pena.

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The view from the side of the mountain. Castle of the Moors, or just the wall. In fact even thou the Moors is not such a great location (is great to walk on the wall and it can really take your breath away) it is one of the oldest. Built in the VIII and IX century makes the Pena with its XIX century, a pretty modern location. And in my opinion it actually is since it had only one family and then became a museum. If you wish to see more images on Castle of the Moors follow this link:  https://colorpixel.org/2017/04/14/08-sintra-pt/

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So now that I find myself inside the Pena Park, I come to realize that all the Hype about this place, it is true. No wonder its everywhere on Facebook, Youtube and even in commercials. At the Lake entrance there is a carriage pulled by two beautiful horses. The next thing you see is this unique (in my opinion) duck house

Many would love to have in their land a small tower, but here even the wild ducks have one.

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This small lake is the first one in a series of other 4 smaller ones on the same “line”. The region being called Valley of the Lakes.

From here I headed up to the castle when this little bird stopped me.

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It’s a European Jay. If you remember the Wildlife at Zamans article, I said there that I saw one at Sintra. Well, this is that bird I was talking about!

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Next, is the Fountain of the Small Birds, that commemorate Dom Vasco da Gama’s return with its discoveries. The king of Portugal refers to himself as a Sultan, as an inside joke and the writing is in old Arab (old even for the time when it was written).

This monument is not the only one with islamic architecture inside Sintra. Another beautiful monument is the Moorish Fountain.

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Further up the road, on a small lake, there I found plenty of waterlilies in blossom.

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Lake of the Shell.

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And now the great and colorful Palace of Pena. After climbing and climbing for many minutes (in total there is a big climb from Regaleira) this view is definitely worth every bit of energy.

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This place is on the grounds of an old chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena. In 1503 it was donated to the Order of the Hieronymites and in 1838 it was purchased  by Don Fernando II. He builds the Palace from 1842-57. It was not a long time a royal domain, for that in 1910 it became already a museum. So like I said before, it seems to be quite new. Even American People could have built something like this, if they would have wanted…

Here is a view from the Kitchen (where I also made a time-lapse that can be seen on the next article).

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Triton.

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A view from the inner side.

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Of course you can walk on the wall here too. The problem you will be facing (just like at the Moors) is that here are powerful winds and therefore it can be very cold. So before going to Pena or the Castle of the Moors, take something for cold.

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On way back to the exit.

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I have not got inside the Palace. For me is not really that important to see what a king did or did not. I personally like more the hidden gems, just like this out-of-service Water Wheel (house).

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The first time I touch an American tree. The Sequoia Tree.

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Just when I was thinking that I saw everything.

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It appears to be a tradition to hide in the park, small places to take rest or just to talk, away from unwanted ears.

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I would say that Palace of Pena should definitely be visited, as well as Regaleira. But perhaps not both in the same day. They both look similar, even though Regaleira is more condensed and romantic.

The domains of the Palace of Pena, requires more than just 4 hours. I have seen just the central region that starts from The Lakes and goes up to Lake of the Shell and then down to the Palace.

From here, I started my descend to Sintra and of course to a restaurant to eat. On my way there, I stumble upon Palacio de Seteais.

The sky was very bright so I had to put a Black Gradien Fliter on the lenses in order to better show the shapes while maintaining the white of this palace. When I was resting, I saw expensive cars coming and going. I searched on the phone and I found out that this is a Hotel…

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Another picture os Quinta de Regaleira, this time the tower with the globe.

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A house protected from vandalism.

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Afterlife guardian.

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Here I end this part of the trip.

To sum things up, Palace of Pena is right there in top 10 places to visit in Portugal. For me it is a bit far from number one… And because I said that, check the next article on Monserrate. Also you will find there a small time-lapse made here at Sintra.

MiDe.

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