Sintra, a small and extremely underrated town northwest of Lisbon is one of those places that puts you under some kind of magical trance. I know it sounds crazy, but I almost feel like the whole thing was a dream or a figment of my imagination because it was just too beautiful to be real. It's well preserved streets and buildings make you feel like you're part of a real-life fairytale. Sigh, it's been hard coming back to "real life" here in Madrid :P.
The people who work at our hostel stated that the best way to get to know Sintra and fall in love with it is to just "get lost" and that's exactly what we did.
Having a beer at 10am and boarding a train right after cannot be good...
Ummmm DELICIOUS?! Hamburger + beer = 3.70 euro.... yeah.. I know
View from the window of our hostel
Travasseiros - a pastry native to Sintra that consists of puff pastry stuffed with almond paste and topped with sugar. I think it can only be found in Sintra because I scoured the bakeries in Porto hoping for one last taste, but unfortunately my belly was left travasseiro-less and very very sad.
City center at night. Everything in Sintra closes at 7pm... literally. Thus the empty streets.
Quinta da Regaleira - basically a residence for some rich man named Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro... yep, he just built himself a palace as if he were a king cuz he mother effin' could. wtf.
Palacio da Pena - considered one of Portugal's seven wonders, this palace was built in the romantic architectural style.
Dear Man Upstairs,
Can you give me a prince boyfriend ASAP?
With love, Hannah
Castelo dos Mouros - According to our trusty little friend, Wiki, this medieval castle was built during the 8th-9th century by the Arabs. Eventually, like the rest of the Iberian peninsula, this place was conquered by the Christians and is now a site where tourists can go and take pictures just like me :)
Little town of Sintra below!
Looks kind of like the ________________________ (hint: Beijing)
I can almost pass for Rapunzel - minus the long blonde hair, the royal blood, and a prince in shining armor to come and rescue me from eternal doom. mmhmm.
View of the Palacio da Pena from the Castelo dos Mouros
Bacalau, or cod-fish is commonly consumed by the Portuguese (maybe that's why they're all so gorgeous) and is a salted and dried version of the fish. So naturally, I had to try it and sweet baby Jesus was it delicious; ESPECIALLY after spending an entire day looking at castles sans food. This dish here is Bacalau a bras which consists of shredded bacalau with sliced onions, fried potatoes, and all brought together by an egg. It is usually topped with olives and parsley and it is the most popular way to prepare the dish. Yum
So this gallo or rooster is an iconic Portuguese figurine because there is a Portuguese myth that goes along with it. I would love to tell you the myth but I've heard like 5 different versions of it, so I'm pretty sure whatever I tell you won't be correct.
Final picture before walking back to the hostel to finally leave this beautiful and quaint little town... one of the saddest days of my life.