Tuesday, July 13, 2010


July 11th: Started at the Gulbenkian museum (free today!), a fairly wildly varied collection. Lots of nice Chinese gemstone carvings, Turkish rugs, Ottoman books, and this bad boy from Rene Lalique:

Dragonfly Woman

Then onto the train to Sintra. (Missed the first train by less than a minute because the ticket guy gave me the wrong ticket).

Sintra is magnificent - the Pena palace and the Moorish fortress are two incredibly breath-taking buildings. Absolutely a must visit (maybe THE must visit) in Portugal.

The Pena Palace

Basically a brightly colored Disney castle sitting on top of a mountain -  filled with terraces and buttresses and so on. The interior is quite interesting as well - great example of Victorian design.

The Moorish Castle

Definitely leaning more towards "ruins" than "castle" at this point, the whole outer rampart on the cliff edge is still intact and walkable (and very cool).

Hiked down from here (after taking the bus up), and recommend hiking both ways - not that far, and the bus is crowded and expensive. Plus, you get to see the palace from the castle before arriving:

The National Palace is then a little out of the way, but it's a bit ho-hum in comparison anyway (although they were doing a bit of jousting in the yard when I was there).

Got back to Lisbon just in time to catch the World Cup final in the plaza outside the rail station and get myself a nice spot on the balcony:

Vamos Espana!

Full photo album

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