In my last post I talked about feeding the pigeons in the Park of Peace in Almada. Today, I’m excited to show you one of my favorite places to visit in Portugal—Sintra National Palace located in Sintra. Mostly because the grounds are so incredibly beautiful, but also because this is a place my husband and I went to early in our relationship. Here are some pictures of my awesome visit there this past June. I should add that some of these photos were taken by my good camera, and some were taken on a borrowed phone. Because one week into our four-week stay, my phone ended up beneath the wheels of a tire. (Fortunately, my husband replaced the front part when we got home, and it now mostly works.) When you arrive, you can buy tickets for just the grounds, for the grounds and the palace, and you can add in the nearby Castle of the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros) as well. We bought all three (remember to go early so you have enough time for it all). For me, the grounds are what really make Sintra Palace stand out. There are all kinds of isolated pathways to explore, and it is easy to imagine yourself back in time strolling along with royalty from the castle. If you go far enough, you’ll also find vegetable gardens, horses, cows, goats.
Picture of the Grounds
Below are a few pictures of the grounds in the section on the path to the palace, starting with this swan we spied in one of the fancy pools.
Here’s my husband, TJ, and Liana and Lisbon, our two youngest daughters who went with us on the trip.
Lisbon climbing the stairs (definitely one of the photos from the borrow phone!).
A frog we rescued from the path and released to safety.
Another bad photograph, but this is the little door my family disappeared inside. Thankfully, they came out!
More of the path taken by the borrowed phone.
Courtyard of the Palace
Posing with my daughters, Liana and Lisbon, with my mother-in-law, Maria José, and brother-in-law, Jaime, on my other side. Yes, of course I was wearing a Hard Rock Cafe shirt! My hair was really funny, especially since I’d chopped in off myself at midnight only days before the trip.
The first time I ever went to Sintra Palace, I posed on this wall many years ago. I was trying to recreate it, but since I was actually on top of the wall at age 22, it doesn’t look anywhere near the same.
We always have to take our picture on this bench.
More of the Grounds
After seeing one section of grounds and the palace, we explored more. Lisbon found herself a throne! It was long into this second stroll that we found the vegetable gardens and livestock. In all the times I’ve been to Sintra, I’ve never explored that far. The view of the palace from Lisbon’s throne
The Castle of the Moors
Don’t forget to stop and see the Castle of the Moors nearby. Just make sure that you aren’t there past the closing time. We were and they LOCKED US INSIDE THE GROUNDS. We had to help my 79-year-old mother-in-law and my seven-year-old scale a wall to get out!
And of course, as usual, I wrapped up my outing with pastries. This is also from the borrowed camera, but they sure were good.
Next up we’ll take you to Castle of Guimarães, the castle of the first king of Portugal!
Copyright 2019 Teyla Rachel Branton
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