Palácio da Pena, beautiful and amusing.

Sintra, is a lovely city not far from Lisbon and most certainly worth the trip, if not for the … no, not the Galo of Barcelos, but for him

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because he is part of the the Palácia da Pena.

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Quite a different cookie, isn’t it?
This palace, that used to be the summer residence of Queen Maria da Glória and
her husband Ferdinand von Saksen-Coburg,

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who built it next to an old cloister of which the chapel still exists.
As you can see the Pena is high up on a mountain and way to get there is in a horsedrawn carriage, a most loverly ride through the forest of proud trees and wild flowers isn all colours of the rainbow, and the park of some 600 acres that surrounds the palace.

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Good old Ferdinand may have been a nice chap, but one wonders if he had much talent as an architect. He does like mixing styles, though.
The Moorish entrance gate

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takes us to the fairy-tale palace, with pilars of twisted ropes, walls of gravel and coal,

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minarettes with Gothic windows, baroque gates and yellow towers that look like onions.

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a jazzy building that houses the castle’s clock, no doubt a souvenir from his Austrian past.

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Poor chap wanted to create something quite unique. He did, but let’s be honest … this does make you grin, doesn’t it?

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Inside it isn’t any better and I almost broke my ankle, or worse, because I slipped on the super-shiny floor and fell backwards with my head nearly hitting a stone threshold. My daughter saved me by breaking my fall with her legs. Ankle was in a mess and no tennis for me for the rest of the holiday.
But, every year we went back to the Pena and every year discovered something new to giggle about.

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