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Showing posts from 2008

Winter Morning

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Winter mornings are wonderful here! Our Bed and Breakfast is on the mountain between the valley and the palaces. When the mist of the night condensates it creates a cloud that covers the villages in the valley only exposing the tree tops and chimneys. Another cloud hovers above the top of Pena Palace hiding and exposing it in a colorful cloud - it is magical! It is easy to be a morning person in Sintra.

I usually get up early morning, way before any of the guests do, and walk the grounds with the dogs - so I can truly appreciate the awakening of the day. Sintra is very photogenic - it is a thrill for all the photographers from amateurs to professionals to try their skill on day or night time photography. Sometimes we get random people ringing our doorbell asking to enter the garden for the perfect shot of the palaces or the valley. I am glad to oblige, realizing that we do have a wonderful place for it. And we do get guests that stay up at odd times to catch the full moon over the…

Winter Morning Clouds Below our Garden

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The palm tree is blooming!

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Winter Cleaning

It was a great week without rain! I know rain is needed, but a break was needed, too. Three weeks ago when the rains started, on a stormy night, the wall of our property suffered and a few meters of it fell down. It is a wall over 100 years old, made of heavy rocks. Finally the weather permitted its reconstruction - and it feels great not to have the rubble around. It is amazing the amount of rocks that a wall contains!

We have collected rocks like that all fall - Originally this ground was a vineyard so it was narrowly terraced. Through the years, some of which of abandon, some of the terraces were undone, fused, vanished - and now we find these big rocks, previously from the walls all over the ground. We are collecting them, preparing for a pond-landscaping for later in the spring. Right now it is more important to start pruning.

This last week our gardeners started the pruning/cutting process. Last year we planted about 60 fruit trees on the ground. They are fine, but the ol…

TV or no TV?

Sintra has arrived to the extreme weather - Extreme beauty with the full moon - and extreme rain and winds! We all hope this passes quickly.

So what do you do in Sintra when the wind is blowing and the hail hits the windows, and it seems impossible to leave the comfort of your room? Some people play board games or cards, others read and others just catch up on their sleep. I have just ordered an English Scrabble to go along with the Portuguese version, to be easier for more people. Our little library got a few additions this week as our Australian guests took advantage of the 'take one - leave one' suggestion. A thank you for them, it is nice to have circulation!

I was reading commentaries on our house on a site this week and noticed a comment regarding the absence of TV in the rooms. In a rainy day it would be a nice thing to have a TV in the room. I might agree, and felt bad that the message that they are available had not gotten to the client, who consequently missed the…

Special deals for our blog-customers!

We have created a couple of getaway-packages for those in need of change in their routine: a 1-night and a 2-night getaway! All the prices are valid until the end of May/09 and are for two people.

1 night Sintra getaway includes 1 night in Casa do Valle with full breakfast for two, 1 Regaleira horse-and-carriage ride, coffee and 'travosseiros' for two at the famous pastelaria 'Piriquita' - all for 95 euros!

2 night Sintra getaway includes 2 nights in Casa do Valle with full breakfast for two, 1 São Pedro horse-and-carriage ride, coffee and 'travosseiros' for two at the famous pastelaria 'Piriquita' - all for 175 euros!


And we are still continuing with the special welcome of free port wine and walnuts included in the room price until the end of January!

Christmas lights!

What a show it was - the lighting of the tallest European Christmas tree in Lisbon tonight, at the Parque Eduardo Vll. Nearly a million and a half micro lights, all synchronized for special effects. Really flashy.

In Sintra there are also Christmas Lights - luckily less flashy but really, really nice. The huge tree in front of the National Palace, 'icicles' hanging from the trees in the Historical Center, the lit wall on the Volta do Duche .... All of Sintra is lit and beautiful, perfect for an evening walk.

At our Bed and Breakfast we started decorating today, too. Some, but not all the lights are up, the Christmas wreaths are decorating the doors, and the lanterns are lighting the steps. It felt strange putting up Christmas decorations as the weather is still so warm during the days - sunny and crisp. The nights are cool, though, but we are missing the rain of the season. Our guests have enjoyed hiking the mountain and turned in early. A few commented on a perfect lunc…

Winter is arriving...

...and what a wonderful time it is to visit Sintra!

The weather is still perfect for the season: sunny afternoons and cool, crisp nights. With the full moon it is easy to get lost in the magic of Sintra and the mountain.
Visiting the monuments during the day is easy - less traffic, easy parking, hardly any waiting anywhere. It is easy to book a guided tour at the Quinta da Regaleira - the number one place to visit according to our guests.

In the internet house of our B&B, we have a book that is called 'Guest to Guest' where previous guests have written to the future ones what they found most exciting, different, wonderful etc. about Sintra and its surroundings. Regaleira right now seems to be more popular than even Pena Palace: 'Just like Harry Potter world' or 'Better than Disney World' and 'An absolut must, we definitely recommend booking a guided tour!' are just some of the comments. And now, with less tourists around, it is more or less…
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Wonderful Autumn Day in Sintra!

This has truly been a wonderful day in Sintra. The mountain and the Historical Center are a pool of colors: the traditional green has gotten its autumn foliage of yellow and the colorful buildings look so pretty in the midst of this! Our Bed and Breakfast is bathing in the sun, it is nearly 20 degrees and there is hardly any wind. I had my afternoon coffee on the sofa outside.

This is a wonderful time to visit Sintra, taking advantage of our winter specials with local businesses. It is magical to ride in a horse-drawn carriage through all these colors, sipping hot chocolate. With a significant discount that our Guest House visitors have, it is almost a must!

Today our guests commented that they really appreciated the complimentary port wine when they entered yesterday, it was a chilly night and it warmed them up nicely. I am glad, as we want to make sure that our guests have a memorable stay.

You can check out the details of our specials on our site www.casadovalle.com