Monday, November 2, 2015

Sintra Part 1

I AM SO SHOCKED AND CONFUSED!!!! I am having one of those moments when I swear I did something, and I even feel like I have memories from doing said thing, and yet apparently I didn't actually do what I thought I did and now I am questioning reality. I am talking about posting about our first trip to Sintra which we took all the way back in September. I was trying to reference back to what I had written on that trip but when I went to find the didn't exist!!! So, I will have to do it now, although keep in mind this is from almost a month and a half ago now.

Anyways, Sintra is a town about 45 minutes Northwest of Lisbon. It is really, REALLY beautiful and considered to have its own "microclimate". In other words, Sintra is really green and forested and wet compared to Lisbon which is a lot drier and more what you would imagine a Mediterranean climate to be like. There are many cool things to go see in Sintra, the reason I have spent 3 days there to date. This trip which I am about to write about was led by our Portuguese language teachers and happened during the week after classes. 
This particular day I only saw one of the sights Sintra has to offer, an estate called "Quinta da Regaleira". The buildings were constructed in the beginning of the 20th century and owned by a man named Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro. I believe the owner was a Mason, and so the building and grounds have a lot of symbols built in (Ex: the Initiation Well) and also my host mom told me that it draws a lot of crazy people interested in magic and the occult.
I started out with the group and a tour guide but managed to get so lost in the gardens by the end that I never found them again until I gave up and went into the mansion over an out later. This may have actually made it more fun though. 

 Around Sintra:

Town Hall:

Quinta da Regaleira:


Masonic Initiation Well from the top:

 From the bottom:

Me in one of the caves:


 The house from a different view:

Above the door:

This place had nice ceilings too!

 On the roof... the little gazebo looking thing is actually an alchemy lab. Actually, the building was really cool in that way because much of the layout and statues were meant to display various mystical symbols. I was rushing to catch up to the group so I didn't read everything on this part unfortunately, although I could have in the end because while I was on the roof everyone left me to go home....

 Also, the grounds were absolutely full of cats:

From the garden:


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