The streets are as narrow as driveways and paved with a thousand cobbles, as old as they are plentiful. The brick crumbles away in places and tempts you to see the heart of its existence. Brick fortress walls tower around you and are themselves dwarfed by dewy green mountains. Scenery blanketed by trees thick with lichen and enveloped in a low-lying cloud.
The misty mountains fight to remain hidden in a secret world that stirs the curiosity, and the tales about this mystical land grow in my imagination to resemble elfish folklore. The hobbit theme song resonates in my ears and in a strange way I feel like I’m coming home.
As we wind upwards, onwards towards – we don’t even know what yet, (no research pays off sometimes) we are glued to windows are more awake than we’ve been all week. After a 3-day rampage in Lisbon coupled with the “odd” port tipple, this scenery was a refreshing sight to bathe in.
However your own brain conjures up images of dew dripping off wet leaves and the deep green of young leaves will be an accurate image of Sintra. Combine this with castles built on the dreams of young Disney influenced children and you’re on the button.
A land fit for worship and meditation, it has been used as a place of Moon-God exaltation by the Celts, and the home of a precipitous castle built by the Moors. The royals escaped the heats of summer in Lisbon to lounge in the gardens here and it has now become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and deserves this title more than most that I’ve visited!
With hidden labyrinths in the gardens linking underground wells; waterfalls spilling into small ponds with stepping-stones to skip through; and high spiraling towers to gorge in the views, a half-day at this stunning site was simply not enough to soak in the splendor.
Just 16 miles from the capital of Lisbon, Sintra is an absolute must see for all those visiting Lisbon. The town itself and all it has to offer far exceeds the over-talked hype surrounding Lisbon, which appeared to be a poorer and sadder version of Madrid.
These pictures really don’t do Sintra justice! Come and step inside the garden of Eden at Quinta Da Regaleira and become reacquainted with the romance of history and nature.