Posts Tagged ‘portugal’

A Buddha gathering in Bombarral

His holiness, the Dalai Lama, was supposed to inaugurate the first Oriental garden (and one of the biggest ones in the world) in Portugal, Bombarral (Quinta dos Loridos), but unfortunately he didn’t. (don’t know why – lost his number).

Joe Berardo (a portuguese millionaire. ps – joe is not a portuguese name…he’s just stupid) bought all the statues that came from several countries in Asia just to built what he calls ‘The Garden of Peace’ for everyone to enjoy freely.

Well, at least that…

The garden is indeed amazing and the statues overwhelm you with their height. They are still finishing it but it already takes you around one hour to see it all.

A minor detail: it’s amazing the ammount of rubbish and statues already broken that you can find in a place called ‘The Garden of Peace’ that even didn’t open yet!!! Shame…

Totaly worth it guys!!

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I’ve been there and done that.

Well, i did all of that now that I put my Indiana Jones hat on and lit a torch to enter the caves of Regaleira. I tried several times before with my phone’s light but it didn’t quite work. This time it did, but I got way too scared when I had to decide right or left at the end of the cave…1000 dollars answer? None of those, GO BACK! And so we did, me and Mariana 🙂

There’s not much to say about this place in Sintra (outskirts of Lisbon) ’cause I feel like I’ve visited it a 1000 times. Yes, there’s a lot to know about it but it’s just too complicated. Ok, I’ll try a sumary: masonry, occult, masonry.

Done! 😀

Anywho, go there if you ever have the chance but PLEASE don’t ignore its history and don’t think of it as just another monument because it’s not just another one. It’s THE monument.

Pics below 😀

Pictures: top to bottom – Palace, caves, initiation well, entrance to the caves (no, it’s not grass – water :P)

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Pena Palace (Sintra.part II)

It’s difficult to show your own country to a foreigner. Among the thousands of cool places you think you know in your hometown you have to chose just 2 or 3 to show to your friend that came from England. Last week was downtown Lisbon, today it was Sintra, of course.

Of course because Sintra is especial. Especial for everybody, especial for those who like to eat, for those who like monuments, for nature and greenpeace freaks, for people interested in witchcraft (yes, Sintra is Also associated with that), for those who like tea or simply for those who just want to take a walk.

During summer time, or not, it’s always a pleasent place where you easily forget you’re just 20min away from the capital.

Anywho, nothing like experiecing it, so please, visit it! (Although I’m writing a different post for every monument in Sintra, (oh, by the way, this one is about the Pena Palace) they are all worth it. Visit them all!!)

Pena, or feather, Palace, as you wish, is the biggest palace in Sintra and was the first romantic Palace in Europe. The palace was built in 1836 by D. Fernando Coburgo-Gota (later king of Portugal), married to Queen Maria II.

As you can see by the pictures, its architecture is a true delight 🙂  a mix of: 1) neo-gothic, 2) neo-manueline, 3) islamic and 4) neo-renaissance. Oh, and it stands on rocks 😉

Cool huh?

2nd picture – oui, it’s a fancy window 😉 See more

Monserrate Palace

…and I thought I knew every monument in Sintra…

guess what? This one was missing (yes, I will visit all the others soon, and yes, I will make posts about them soon too!), mainly because it is very well hidden into the forest. Or perhaps, just because I always thougth it wasn’t worth it of my visit, but hey!, I visited it today!

Sir Francis Cook was the owner of the Palace, back in 1863. The 2nd floor of the Palace is closed and there’s not much stuff to see inside but it’s totally worth it because of its unique architecture. Why? Well, because it looks like the Palace of a Maharaja and that is not usual, especially when you’re talking about a Palace located in Sintra – Portugal.

I know nothing about architecture but it looks very Indian/Maharaja/Sahara like to me!! I love it!

The gardens are also very beautiful and you can see there the first garden to be planted in Portugal 😉

Enjoy the pics

pics – 1st garden to show: the first garden in Portugal. See more

Medieval Fair at Óbidos

Weeeeeeeeeeee 🙂 The annual mediavel fair at Óbidos, a tiny village that archeology dates back to 208BC, has arrived! In my opinion it is one the best medieval recriations that you can find in the country! And one of the biggest! 🙂 I go there every year and it wasn’t an expection this year. Good as always, entertaining as always but above everything else, very very fun! After all, we all had to eat with wooden spoons (you know, knifes and forks wasn’t something that everybody had that time) or even with our own hands, like proper pigs! 🙂 It’s a medieval fair, meaning: no napkins, no cokes, no pepsi, nothing! None of those fancy things we are used to nowadays.

Anyway, you can see the pics below 🙂

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Inside the caves, no bats!

This was not the point of today’s trip. We drove around Portugal for 4 hours trying to find Serra d’aire but that turned out to be an impossible mission. You can imagine that 4 hours later we were (me and H.) very very fed up of all this driving and all we wanted was to go back.

However, we found this (Moeda Caves) and we could not not visit it 😉 They’re pretty cool (it’s just rocks but who cares?) and they date back to, well, god knows when. Yes, yes it’s worth it and inside the caves you can listen to chill out music which turned out to be a very very good combination 🙂

Stay tuned for the next trip, if we find the spot, of course.

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Just a quickie!

I was so bored I had to start doing something, so I decided to visit 3 places in 5 hours. It was a bit tough but I managed to do it anyway 😉 Oh, and my parents came with me, for the very first time.

We got to São Jorge’s field at around 11.00am just to see the place where the Aljubarrota battle took place, and allow me to say, what a disappointment! I wasn’t expecting to see dead bodies and 50.000 men fighting, but come on! Not even a tourist information plaque? As far as I know they kept building houses in that battlefield and built a museum, dedicated to the portuguese victory, right in the middle of it! It’s absolutely ridiculous! And by the way, it’s closed! (Oh yes, it’s closed for 3 years now, thats what someone told me). Portugal…always leaving historical places like this behind. (See the picture of the battlefield below…it’s realllllllly difficult to picture a battle there!)

A bit of history? In the 13th of August of 1385, 40.000 Castilians invaded Portugal. Not that of a happy ending for the Spanish…we smashed them! 🙂 This was what was later considered the most important battle in the history of Portugal.

The light effects inside the Batalha’s Monastery (built to celebrate the Portuguese victory) makes it beautiful and almost unreal. As to the architecture, beautiful as every single historic monument in Portugal.

We then went to Alcobaça’s Monastery, the first Gothic monument in Portugal. This was pretty special because I absolutely adore D. Inês de Castro love story 😛 and I was able to see  her tomb for the first time, as well as her husband’s, D. Pedro I (king of Portugal). The story is a bit tragic but oh well…hard times.

Here’s the most interesting things to see inside the monastery: 1) the Capítulo room, 2) the monks chambers and 3) the huge kitchen chimney.

And this was pretty much it. Very interesting indeed but not that different form the monuments one can find in England.

Hope to travel a bit more around Lisbon before I go back to Coventry! Stay tuned 😉

Pictures (from top to bottom): Aljubarrota battlefield (Campo de São Jorge), Batalha’s Monastery, inside Batalha’s Monastery, Alcobaça Monastery, D. Inês de Castro tomb.

See more of Batalha . See more of Alcobaça