Up until today we have followed a rather busy itinerary, seeing a few sights a day. Today I told Zoe, “Let's do today Zoe-style and just explore the town aimlessly.” So that was the nature of our visit to Sintra, and in the end we were very glad for it.
We wandered away from the train station, up the delightfully green hillside, in the direction of the castle. Most of the buildings are centuries-old mansions so rustic they meld with nature, seeming to belong perfectly. A few little areas of touristy cafés and shops interrupt this harmony, but even these little businesses were charming.
Zoe and I took turns doing silly poses with the sculptures that stood at intervals along the path winding up to the palaces. We couldn't stop taking pictures of the hillside and the water — really the epitome of picturesque. Every once in a while we came upon groups of little children following each other in a line like little ducklings, all wearing the same color hat, either blue or red or yellow. They must have been summer day camps for Portuguese young children — very cute.
We didn't go inside any of the palaces or the castle. Instead, we meandered up random alleyways and came upon a little peaceful refuge with a fountain at the center decorated with Moorish tiling. The trickling water and cool shade called us to rest and read our books for a bit.
About This Entry
You are reading "A Zoe-Style Visit to the Postcard-Perfect Town of Sintra", an entry posted on 27 July 2009 by Jackie Steves.