BootsnAll Travel Network

Articles Tagged ‘Sintra’

More articles about ‘Sintra’
« Home

Portugal Restored

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

I feel like I´m back in Portugal. Of course I haven´t left yet, but for a couple of days I felt I had landed in a slightly run-down theme park with no particular language or culture. This morning the smoke had cleared away, the day was gorgeous, hot, and clear, and I boarded the first bus for Cabo da Roca, the geographically western-most point in Europe, and therefore in some sense the real European End of the World. The bus headed down the hill to a little community of apartment blocks and picked up a number of women who must have been the maids to people living between Sintra and Cascais. Surrounded by these women, chatting laughing and nibbling bread and sweetcakes on their way to work, I knew I was in Portugal again. They got off the bus in ones and twos before the bus reached Cabo da Roca, and there was nobody left on the bus but me and a few hardy early-morning tourists. Cabo da Roca is NOTHING like Finisterre. [read on]


Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

Sintra does not feel like Portugal. For one thing, it´s overrun with tourists, many of whom have brought their cars. There is gridlock so bad that the mounted police can´t even get their horses between the cars to direct traffic. The tourists are bad-tempered. Maybe it´s the heat. Maybe it´s the crowding. But I´ve seen people hit their kids, drivers shout at each other and curse and make ugly hand-signals, and lovers yell at each other and walk off in different directions. The gardens at the Regaleira Palace are magnificent, just as the websites I studied before I left showed them to be. My cold is going away, thanks to some magical potion I got at the Farmacia called Cêgripe. I´m back to being myself and full of good cheer and wonder, but the press of people around me is not a happy press. [read on]