Friday, July 8, 2011

Thursday in Portugal

I have to tell you, the Thursday we had in Portugal two weeks ago was so filled with things seen and done, I can hardly begin to squeeze it into just one blog post.  Here's a clue - I took 458 photos on that day!  So there will no doubt be more details to follow in the days ahead about this particular one but for now, I can tell you a few of the highlights:

We should have known it was going to be an unusual day when we drove past a dead body (under a sheet, with only the shoes showing, with a police officer standing nearby) on the way to the studio.

After a morning in the studio, we headed off to the nearby town of Sintra by taxi for lunch.  The meal was a bit rushed, as we had barely gotten finished eating our main course when our transportation arrived.  No taxis this time but instead, horse drawn carriages, ready to take us on a ride through the Sintra hills.

But before we climbed up into the carriages, we first stopped to say hello to a famous Portuguese actor, Joaquim D'Almeida (read his list of film and TV credits here), who very kindly signed autographs and posed for photos.

We visited not one but three palaces that day.  Our first stop was Montserrate, a very quick visit but well worth the 10 minute mad dash down and then back up a rather steep hill. 

Back in the carriage for a drive along tree-lined lanes

to our next destination, the palace and gardens of Regaleira.  We had a guided tour through the beautiful grounds, and a quick look through the house on the grounds.

We walked from there into the heart of Sintra and then headed by taxi and shuttle bus to the top of the hill upon which Pena Palace is located.  Each destination this day was more amazing than the one before but we had definitely saved the best for last.  I loved the turrets and the stone and the weather textured colours of Pena.

Back to Sintra for dinner, where we all played paparazzi when the desserts arrived.

All in all, it was rather a surreal day, rushing from one astounding experience to the next, with no time to properly absorb what we were seeing and doing, always in a hurry. I wish we'd had more time at each of our stops but perhaps I shall be back there again some day, with time to take it all in at a slower pace.

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