Sintra is one of Portugal’s most famous tourist spots. The Palace of Monserrate (seen above) and the Sintra National Palace are two of the city’s most impressive sights. My mother and I went there for the first time on our first full day in Portugal.
I returned to my residence in Kaiserslautern, Germany, for a week or two after exploring Rome on my own. I had made arrangements with my family members to meet them in various locations and travel with them for a few weeks each. We journeyed across Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia after I met my father in Budapest. Then, in Santorini, Greece, I met my brother, and we ended up doing a road trip into Turkey. My mother was the last family member with whom I had plans, and we arranged to meet in Portugal.
We met at the Lisbon airport (1 on the map), rented a car, and went to an apartment in Ericeira that we had leased (2). We headed down to Sintra (3) for some good old fashioned sight seeing after receiving a nice night’s sleep.
Ericeira is a lovely, tranquil seaside town popular with surfers, so I’d like to write an article on it. And we had a wonderful time there. I only have a few images of the town, unfortunately.
We arrived at Sintra and parked far away from the National Palace for some reason. Parking issues may have existed closer to the palace, I believe. The weather was pleasant, and we enjoyed our stroll.
This amazing fountain was just next to the road. The bottle had been filled at the fountain by the woman walking away with it. I’m not sure if the water is meant to be blessed or if it’s simply a good natural spring.
The road was also near to this intriguing sculpture.
Sintra’s town hall is this cool-looking tiny structure.
We arrived to the palace after a short walk and walked inside to take a look around. Although it is a large structure, it is lightly ornamented. After visiting Rome and the Vatican, everything seemed a little lackluster.
One of the issues with traveling is this. It’s difficult to get excited about other sites after seeing “the finest” of a particular type. After visiting Angkor Wat, I had a similar experience. All other temples seemed little and boring after visiting the incredible temples in Cambodia.
The Sintra National Palace was stunning, with a cool, unusual, almost minimalist design. It was interesting to see, but it didn’t have the same impact as Rome.
The palace has several interesting ceilings. I loved how the Portuguese were more interested in various creatures rather than the plump naked children that the Romans appeared to be preoccupied with.
Birds and painted ceilings are two of my favorite things. The National Palace of Sintra was a terrific fit for me.
These ceilings have a very distinct style to me. The repeated image of the same animal has a graffiti-like quality to it.
My favorite part of the palace was undoubtedly the gardens.
We walked out into the city after spending a couple of hours at the palace. We rode the bus to Monserrate Palace.
The Palace of Monserrate is absolutely stunning. It has a strong wow factor. Its age is the only thing that makes it unimpressive. It’s a relatively new structure. In 1863, work on the structure began.
This structure has tremendous style and detail.
The detail work is generally done with plaster and does not have the same impact as stone carving. However, the eventual result cannot be disputed. The leaves appear to be paper-thin.
The building’s inside is adorned with beautiful lace-like embellishments from floor to ceiling.
The entire structure had an airy, dreamy feel to it. The addition of modern lighting to the structure truly brings the concept to life.
There isn’t much to see inside the “palace,” which is more of a large house than a palace. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s very great. The structure is situated on a large plot of land with a large garden.
I wasn’t taking many shots of the garden because I was exhausted after being on my feet all day.
We rode the bus back into town to pick up our rental car after a time. We returned to our Ericeira apartment and then went out for sushi for dinner.
It had been a long day, but viewing the sights with my mother was enjoyable. I remember I’d gone on a few shorter day trips with her, but we’d done the majority of our traveling as a family. When we traveled as a family, my brother and I would normally go off and do our own thing while my parents did theirs. It was great to be able to take a long journey just the two of us.
The following day, we would go on a tour of Lisbon. Following that, we were going to hit the road and head south for some genuine adventure and travel!
I hope you enjoyed some of the images and will join me tomorrow for the next stop on the City to City Tour, which will be in the great city of Lisbon!