As I mentioned in my post yesterday, the town of Sintra, Portugal was almost the playground of my youth; for sure, visits here each summer were a highlight.
(My father took this picture of my mother, sister and me with the Palacio da Vila – Town Palace – in the distance. I’m the one nearest the trash can.)
Back then the world seemed a little more black and white to me, and I got used to thinking that the palace was supposed to look worn and grey. Years later when I visited and saw the two conical towers (chimneys above the palace kitchen) looking like this…
I thought someone had “Disney-fied” the view. Now I know better and am grateful that this palace (and the town) has been designated a World Heritage Site; and, as such, is lovingly looked after.
On our previous visit to Portugal seven years ago, my husband and I took the guided tour of the inside of the palace which is well worth seeing. This time, however, we chose to spend most of our time at Quinta da Regaleira (to see pictures, click here). On our way to the Quinta, we passed through the center of town with its pristine houses…
And quiet cobblestone streets.
Walk through the archway…
And you’ll come upon a panoramic view over the gardens to the Atlantic Ocean.
Turn back around and the view of Palacio de Pena is perfectly framed by the arch!
(Here’s a closer look.)
After such a strenuous day of sightseeing (life is so hard when you’re on vacation), we of course needed a break, so we headed to Piriquita, one of the best Pastelarias (pastry shops) in Sintra. The specialty sweets here are the Travesseiro – literally, meaning pillow- and the famous Queijada, or little cheesecake. The former is a puff-pastry confection filled with egg and almond cream; the latter, a small tart made with Requeijão cheese, eggs, cinnamon and sugar.
I think this is what they serve in heaven!
(P.S. Want to satisfy more of your virtual sweet tooth? Then come back tomorrow for my post about the most famous dessert from Belém, Portugal.)