Truth be told, the cycling tour in the Picos de Europa of Spain appeared to be training for the hiking slogs to the Sintra castles of Portugal. When Hubby and I arrived in Lisbon post bike tour, my plan included much napping and sampling of Portuguese libations. The plan of the refreshment consumption stayed true to course. Some things one can not compromise on.
Sintra Castles A Magic Kingdom
Portugal had been an after thought to our Spanish cycling trip; an add on while we were close by. You know me always trying to get things ticked off a list even if it be countries to visit. What we discovered, even in a city of 2.8 million people, Portugal was ready to wrap our weary selves, in a welcome blanket.
Sintra National Palace inhabited since the early 15th century
To the Portuguese you can do little wrong. Tolerance abounds unabashedly. Should you accidentally launch into Spanish, not that I would do such a thing, the Portuguese smile and nod and kindly offer up “English?” Not even an eye roll thrown in.
So with plans of leisurely napping gone out the window, I swear this husband of mine runs on some endless energy battery source; and heeding the friendly folks in Lisbon’s advice, we boarded the train to Sintra, a town outside of Lisbon where the royalty over the centuries loved to hang out on the edge.
Sintra received classification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for it’s many 19th century romantic architectural monuments. Basically the theme seemed to be who could build a palace bigger than the neighbor’s palace. Up a long steep hill sits Castelo dos Mouros or Castle of the Moors. As the Friendly Giant used to say, “Look up. Look way way up.”
If you are too young to remember the Friendly Giant that is just ridiculous. If you happen to live in a part of the world where a stuffed rooster, giraffe and live giant did not play on your television I am sorry that you missed such quality children’s programming.
This Sintra castle is the stuff fairy tales are set in and I couldn’t help but call out “Rapunzel, Rapunzel ,let down your hair!” Hubby pretended he didn’t know me. Although a bus ride is suggested, we walked. After all how hard could it be commented Hubby?
After exploring the walls of the castle we hiked up to the magical Pena National Palace with history dating back to the Middle Ages. Do you hear me gasping?
It is a combination of styles so has both yellow domed turrets as one might see on a mosque and then square, sharp turrets like those on the Castle of the Moors.
I kept thinking it seemed a bit like a Dr Seuss castle but obviously I am no architectural expert.
As wandered back down to Sintra in the blazing sun I recall pleading with the energizer bunny below for a nap as the next plan of action and a Portuguese refreshment on the side.
Where have you found the most interesting castles? Any suggestions for slowing down this energizer bunny?