Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Recent Field Trips: Sintra's Pena Palace

For May's field trip, we made another trip to Sintra, a hop, skip, and a jump away from Lisbon. We have been to Sintra several times now, but there is so much to see there that each time, so far, we manage to see or do something new. This time, we toured the Palácio de Pena (Pena Palace). We had a picnic lunch on the grounds and then enjoyed wandering around for a little while. There are many species of exotic trees and plants there, including a few California redwoods! Then, because we have a car now (just a loaner from some friends who are on furlough for the next several months), Rusty and I drove out to see the Convento dos Capuchos, also known as the Cork Convent. We ended our day with a visit to a café in Sintra to load up on some of the local pastries, queijadas and travesseiras. Yum!

This is the view of the palace as you are walking up to the entrance. It is pretty impressive.

They don't allow pictures of the inside of the palace, but most of the furnishings are original and equally as impressive. Here are a couple more shots of the outside:

Whose belly is bigger?

 Our group, posing on a Western red cedar. This is all one tree -- the lower branches form a J shape and put roots down into the soil where they touch the ground.

Inside the Convent dos Capuchos. Somehow, I managed to squeeze my pregnant bod inside this tiny monk's cell. The doors are cut small, supposedly so the occupant had to bow in humility to enter!

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