воскресенье, 21 февраля 2016 г.

Sintra. The hiking trail and the Moorish Castle (31.10.15)

While Quinta da Regaleira is easily accessible on foot, other Sintra landmarks are located quite high. That makes most tourists reach them by bus. They don't even realize what an impressive part of the path to the top they miss! Only a few tourists (out of thousands visiting and the Pena Palace every day) prefer the hiking trail. We are among them.

The hiking trail through the mountains of the Moon offers you not only to strengthen your feet. Certain details make the ascending unforgettable.

Miraculous sceneries are everywhere:

Lots of surprises await you along the trail.

Want to play a role of a queen? Here are your throne and your crown, Your Majesty!

Need to relax after the tiring part of the ascending? What about the lovely corridor, so unusual for the forested area?

And the record-holder for surprising the tourist, who wishes to reach the Sintra landmarks, is the vending machine installed in the deserted stone building. Yep, the machine selling snacks and drinks in the godforsaken mountains with a 5-10 persons going past it within an hour. Thus, no queues for the unexpected aid for tired adventurers :)

Apart from tourists, we encountered a group of students practicing in mountaineering. Even though our path was not that difficult, it'd be enough to take a dozen steps aside, and we'd need their climbing equipment to continue the ascending.

Motivation is everything! The trail is equipped with the plans and signs informing you about your current progress. Plans (such as the one on the photo below) are absolutely clear. As for the signs, we were confused when we asked ourselves if they specify the remaining distance or the remaining height to the destination. Food for thought for those who arrange such signs which pretend to be informative.

Time to take a look around.

Have you recognized the Regaleira Palace (in the center of the photo above)? Just estimate the distance we have already covered. Then turn around.

Looks still far away from here but much closer than it seemed from Quinta da Regaleira, doesn't it?

Finally, we are there, in front of the castle built more than 1000 years ago.

Hospitable offer to conquer the castle was accepted without any hesitations ;)

Views from the castle towers and walls are breathtaking!

What makes Sintra so beautiful, is that synthesis of the man-made and natural wonders. Neither the mankind nor the nature alone can create something comparable to this. The higher you ascend the Sintra mountains, the greater miracles await you. The marvelous Pena Palace is our next destination.

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