Showing posts from October, 2012


Looking up from the pool, and almost everywhere from the grounds, you see Serra de Sintra, the Sintra Mountain.  On the top of it, a colourful palace is erected.   What now is one of the most visited monuments in Sintra and in Portugal, used to be a chapel, constructed in the middle ages,  dedicated to our Lady of Pena. A monastery was built around the chapel and for centuries  it was a quiet place of worship.  The 1775 earthquake reduced the monastery to ruins - and it stayed that way until King Consort Ferdinand the 2nd bought it and the surrounding lands, including the Moorish Castle, and had it built in a romantic style by Baron von Eschwege.
The construction took 12 years, the palace was decorated by Queen Mary and the Palace became the Royal family's summer residence.  After the queen died, King Ferdinand remarried, and after his death, the palace fell out of royal hands.  Later King Louis bought it back from his father's widow so that the royal family could continue re…

Autumn is here!

As autumn sets in, we are still enjoying afternoon temperatures of app 25 degrees.  However, it is obvious that we are in autumn as leaves are falling, the fruits are finishing and the night time temperatures start dropping.  This is a wonderful time.   There are less people about so it is easier to get to places, less queues and still great weather.  The pool water is still over 20º, and we have people swimming daily in the afternoons. For anyone who likes photography  this is prime time; the sun is not so overpowering that the shadows are easier to deal with. Also, you get phenomenons  that are special for autumn and winter; the morning fog is thicker and tinted by the rising sun. This is indeed the perfect time for the participation in the garden photography contest with a special price for the pictures taken in the Parks of Sintra.

In the fall, the events are lesser, but there are still a few concerts and cultural events worth mentioning.  In Lisbon 10-12 of October there is a Fl…