An eventful few days..

Lisbon Travel Blog

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ooohkay.. again, going back a few days..

the 25th.
Private tour to the westernmost point of Continental Europe (Cabo da Roca), folloed by the Basilica of Mafra and Sintra Village, which was lovely. We went to the palace there which is a mix of moorish and islamic design. We then went to a small fishing village called Cascais on teh Pacific Coast: whitewashed buildings with aquamarine blue 'trimmings'.. soooo gorgeous!! It's pretty much exactly what I imagined Portugal to be like. So much love.

the 26th
Anothe guided tour.. we started out at a 12th century medieval town called Obidos, which was nice, if a little touristy.. followed by a monastry//cathedral//cloisters called Alcobaca, which contained the tombs of Dom Pedro and his mistress (who was his Queen's handmaiden.. Queen died in childbirth, and mistress had 3 kids with Pedro. She was beheaded for her close connection with the Prince//king, and Pedro had her buried here in a very elaborate tomb).

After lunch was the Gothic Batalha Monastry which had the most incredible stained glass I have ever seen.. The sun cast light all over the limestone walls which resulted in there bein voluminous amounts of brightly coloured light splattered across them.. utterly dazzling!

In teh afternoon we went to Fatima. In my opinion it's a little overrated. Basically in 1916/17, a vision of the virgin Mary -apparently- visited 3 shepherd children - Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia, and told them to pray w/ a rosary every day to prevent her love from taint and sin and some other stuff on behalf of all the sinners. The former 2 died a year later, ad Lucia, now a nun, is still alive. I don't doubt that the kids might have seen something, but most kids see things.. Hell! I saw elephants walking around my backyard when I was a child.. does that make me the next cult-of-the-elephant-guru in India or something??

I mean, I know it could be because I'm not religious, or Catholic even,, or that I very little respect for the Christian Church (not faith, just the actual insitution).. I dunno.. seems a little suss to me. Besides, it was meant to FEEL like a very very holy spiritual place, and it just seemed to be an oerlarge, overly sterile tourist captrap to me. Perhaps it's because I'm a nonbeliever, but it seemed too.. BLAH to be anything special. I mean, I felt overwhelmed at the Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur. It's not like I -can't- feel it when a place is spiritually important, so I dunno. I just wan't feeling it.

 

Today
we went back to Sintra today by train.. we first visited the ruined moorish castle on top of the hill.. amazing views, and some fairly interesting castle structure too!

afterwards we went to Pena Palace, which resembles a giant cake that got lost on it's way to Disneyland. The outer walls are all pink, yellow and purple, so it was just exquisite! It was built in the moorish style, but it seemed a little more Islamic than moorish.. although, I suppose the two aren't greatly different. It was the final home of the last royal family of Portugal.. last occupied in 1910. It's still furnished with the original pieces and every room is as it was left all those years ago.. so yeah.

Sintra's beautiful though.. we did Port tastings in the afternoon.. You don't feel it while you're drinking, but give it half an hour.. whoo! It was lucky we were on the train as dad and I would have found it difficult to stand up properly.. hehe!

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photo by: Johnpro