суббота, 27 февраля 2016 г.

Sintra. The Pena Park (31.10.15)

To get to the Pena National Palace you first need to enter the Pena Park. There are two types of entrance tickets: the one which allows you only to walk in the park and the one which also includes the visit to the palace. We realized that we hadn't much time because it would get dark soon. We had to save not only the time but also the forces since the railway station lied half a kilometer below us. That's why we took the ticket of the first type.

The Pena Park is a vast forested area with lots of sights situated inside. We restricted ourselves to a couple of them: the brightest one and the highest one.

In the previous two posts you saw the first of them, the colorful building, from the large distance. Finally, we reached that miracle.

What I liked about park entrance tickets the most was that they allowed going everywhere except entering the interior of the building. Things might be much worse if the palace was encircled by a fence so that we couldn't scrutinize it closely. Luckily, many attractive spots near the palace walls were legally available for first type tickets holders.

Want to meet the ocean inhabitant in the mountains? Just look above.

It is a Triton trying to scare everybody who gets into the open space from under the decorated arch:

If you walk in the opposite direction, the sea god looks less threatening (though still irritated by crowds of tourists) and more recognizable:

Walking in the Pena Park, you can take delight not only in the beauty of the palace, but also in all of the wonders you left far behind. To feel the connection with the previous post, take a look at one of its main objects on the photo below (pay attention to its right part).

All the way, we were ascending higher and higher, but the summit was still above us. However, from the Pena Palace it became visible. Moreover, the most attentive of you have already noticed it. If not, take a look at this photo one more time:

That is Cruz Alta (the High Cross). More precisely, that is its replica, because the cross itself was severely damaged by the lightning strike in the end of the previous century and currently is located near the park entrance with its parts joined by metal rods.

There is a lot of buses near the Palace of Pena. No buses go to the High Cross. Almost no tourists ascend there either. On the way to the cross and back we met only four persons, i.e. even less than on the hiking trail (which appeared to be more challenging). Don't copy lazy tourists' behaviour if you ever find yourself in Sintra. Otherwise you'll miss too much. "Bonus locations" are hidden everywhere ;)

Finally, here, 529 meters above sea level, is the main checkpoint.

It's the highest point of the whole mountain range. It's the place of the indescribable feeling that you are above everybody for dozens of kilometers in every direction (plane passengers shouldn't be taken into account because they cheat by using an aircraft ;) ).

You are above everything in your field of vision. That means that the glance in every direction provides you with an unforgettable experience.

In September 2014 after visiting Paris I called the capital of France the most luxurious place I've ever seen. Luxury is a kind of beauty. There is also another kind of beauty, which has hardly anything in common with luxury. That kind, the romantic beauty, is what Sintra (and especially the mountains of the Moon) is all about.

We had time to see a lot of the Sintra landmarks. But there are still many of them which we hadn't time to look at: the Capuchin Convent, the Sintra National Palace, the Palace of Monserrate. Moreover, I wished we had more time for exploring Quinta da Regaleira, the Pena Park and Sintra itself. That town became a must return place for me. Besides it, there are only two places in Europe I would like to come back so much: Venice and Paris. I have no doubt that this Portuguese town named after Diana the Huntress (Cynthia to the Romans, hence Çintra) deserves such a considerable company.

2 комментария:

  1. > To get to the Pena National Palace you first need to enter the Pena Park
    I'd say "in order to get to the..." because starting sentence with a infinitive verb sounds weird to me.

    > but also the forces since
    Probably "energy" fits better (without article). There is "save energy" collocation.