This is Sintra, Portugal. A colorful city that unfolds on a forested green mountain, underneath a Moor castle and whimsical palace, dotted with fountains and ferns. A Porguese paradise, 30 minutes outside of Lisbon. It was the country escape for 18th century Portuguese royals, Lord Byron describes Sintra as an "eden" in his poem Childe Harolds Pilgrimage.
In all honestly, I arrived in Sintra exhausted from a busy morning in Lisbon and a mildly stressful train situation. After lugging my suitcase down a very precarious cobblestone street to my hostel, all I wanted to do was lie on my bed with my book. But I was hungry. So I pulled myself out of bed and decided to walk to the town center for a quick dinner.
As I walked towards the center of town, I was suddenly wide awake. This place is unreal. Every corner held a new delight: a stunning view of the national palace, an intricately tiled fountain, blooming bushes of hydrangeas, the castle looming high above.
It is an indescribable place, where intricate palaces are linked by serene hiking trails. Where travessieros from the local pastry shop Casa Piriquita melt in your mouth.
Today, I visited the Quinta de Regaleira, the Palacio Nacional da Pena, and the Castelo dos Mouros. Here we go: