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9/18 - We boarded the train to Sintra and spent the day in palaces. We toured the National Palace,

the Pena Palace, and hiked up to the Moorish Castle. We then hiked back down to Sintra.

For centuries, Sintra was the summer escape of Portugal's Kings.

                   

ABOVE - The Train Station in Sintra

                   

ABOVE - Sintra Town Hall and the National Palace

                   

Above - Scenery on the walk up to the main town of Sintra

BELOW - The National Palace. Most of the interior is from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Below is the banquet room or swan room because of the swans on the ceiling.

                   

BELOW - The unmistakable cone-shaped chimneys of the National Palace

                   

BELOW - The magpie Room and the Bedchamber of King Sebastian

                     

BELOW - The ceiling in this tower is carved gilded woodwork.

              

BELOW - The tiled Water Grotto and the Chapel with its frescoed walls

                  

BELOW - The Privy chamber of Joao I, Manueline Hall and Pena Palace

                   

BELOW - Pena Palace. Built in the 1840s, it is one of Europe's most fantastic palaces,

often compared to Neuschwanstein and the other mock-medieval castles of Ludwig of

Bavaria in Germany, although it was actually built more than two decades before those.

                   

It includes a drawbridge, a conglomeration of turrets, ramparts, and domes,

and a gargoyle above a Neo-Manueline arch, all washed in an array of pastel shades. 

                   

The extravagant interior is decorated in late Victorian and Edwardian furnishings,

rich ornaments, paintings, and priceless porcelain preserved just as the royal family left them. 

                   

The views of the surrounding area with its forests and ocean are spectacular.

                   

                   

Surrounding the palace is the mystical Pena Park, filled with a variety of trees

and exotic plants from the former colonies of the Portuguese empire,

ponds, fountains, and black swans.

                   

BELOW - We hiked up to the Moorish Castle, then back down to the town of Sintra

                   

                   

BELOW - The reward - a great vegetarian meal with a view!