Sintra / Portugal

About an hour west of Lisbon is Sintra, which is the old royal capital of Portugal – at least, where the aristocracy all held their palaces, including the magnificent and incredibly coloured Pena Palace. Entry was expensive but we thought we might as well do it and probably never again return. It was probably worth the money. Nearby there is also the Moorish castle from back in the ancient days of Moorish occupation of the Iberian peninsula – and the islamic tiles and geometric patterns remained in vogue for the rest of the Portuguese castles and palaces that followed. Sintra is a pretty beautiful little town that could very well have fitted in Switzerland.

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