191004-00 map---Sintra-condo-to-Palace-of-Pena-1

Portugal – 191004 Sintra


Clothes wash day

  • We refreshed our knowledge of European washing machines. During the wash we had breakfast in the apartment (e.g. croissants from the ice cream shop below the apartment).
  • After breakfast, we collected the clean, but wet wash, and dried it inside the apartment on a drying rack. European dryers are normally have very low heat and take hours to dry a single load.

The next task was to schedule our transfer, Sun Transfer, from Sintra to the Lisbon Airport.

  • Needless to say, the on-line reservation did not go smoothly. On-line chat support did not work. We used T-Mobile Wifi calling to place a call to the USA for free. But, the credit card needed confirmation via our Seattle land line phone number. Being in Portugal, this wasn’t going to work. In the end, Sun Transfer called our cell phone from England and we were able to book the transfer 🙂
    Sun Transfers

Today’s touring goal was the Palace of Pena

  • We took an Uber to the palace
  • Drove past the Castello do Mouros ruins but didn’t stop for view.
  • The one-lane road was filled with tourists; walking, driving, renting small electric vehicles, etc. and talk a long time to go a couple of miles.
  • When we arrived, it was a zoo. The tours from Lisbon had arrived and there were long, hardly moving, lines for tickets. I finally was able to purchase tickets on-line using my phone and move to the long, entrance line. This time of year, we expected shorter or even no lines. It was a surprise.
  • No photos allowed inside the palace, so I was limited to mostly exterior photos.
  • This is the land of ceramic tiles. They are everywhere.
  • Was once a monastery but now a summer palace.
  • We took an Uber back to apartment. Getting into the Uber, the heel of my right shoe got pinched under the rear tire when the car rolled forward an inch or two. I yelled “Shoe is stuck under the tire! Reverse the car.” Luckily, the car did roll backwards and not forwards to crush my foot. 🙂
  • At the apartment, we took an ice cream break, actually gelato, which was great. We followed up with coffee in the apartment while catching up on emails and updating my travel log.


▲▲Pena Palace (Palácio de Pena) (Rick Steves)

This magical hilltop palace sits high above Sintra, above the Moorish Castle ruins. In the 19th century, Portugal had a very romantic prince, the Germanborn Prince Ferdinand. A contemporary and cousin of Bavaria’s “Mad” King Ludwig (of Disneyesque Neuschwanstein Castle fame), Ferdinand was also a cousin of England’s Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s husband). Flamboyant Ferdinand hired a German architect to build a fantasy castle, mixing elements of German and Portuguese style. He ended up with a crazy Neo-fortified casserole of Gothic towers, Renaissance domes, Moorish minarets, Manueline carvings, Disneyland playfulness, and an azulejo (tile) toilet for his wife.

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