I took the train to from Lisbon to Sintra today. My visit didn’t start well. The train was crowded cheek by jowl. Very unpleasant. When it arrived in Sintra, it took about 30 minutes just to exit the station because of the logjam. My B&B, however, was lovely, easy to reach, and staffed by friendly, helpful people, so yea, and I learned that Sintra is hectic on Mondays because many places in Lisbon are closed that day and visitors compensate by day-tripping here, so I’m hopeful for tomorrow. Sintra is very pretty, and the weather continues to be perfect, so that’s helpful.
Anyway, it was too early to check in, so I set off to explore, and things started to get interesting. The sole reason I chose to come to Sintra is because of a photo I saw of a spiral stone structure in a Lonely Planet Sintra story. That beautiful photo, with the byline, “Portuguese fairy tale” did it for me. So, to make a short story long, the very first place I visited in Sintra is where that structure is! But I didn’t expect that – it was a merely a coincidence that I went there first. Cool!
I did not have the perfect lighting/human free experience the original photographer had, but I got in some happy shots in. The place, Quinta da Regaleira, is a green fantasyland created by rich people with a lot of time on their hands, and we benefit. It’s about ten acres, although it seemed larger to me, set on a hillside, with all kinds of paths, water features, labyrinths, grottos, chapels, and many deep, long caves, some lit, some not, and it was so cool to hang out in the pitch dark with only the cold air and the drip, drip of water. To sum up the place, think: stone, water, greenery, myth. What fun! But I’m gonna stop here, because I think these words are failing. Hopefully, the photos tell the story.
Live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.