Sintra, Portugal // the colors of Pena Palace
On the third day of our holiday, our marriage hit a milestone. Not a big milestone, but yet it is a big milestone, ya know?
Two years of support and laughter and compromise and looking at life in this new perspective. Life changed two years ago. Well, really three years ago it started to change when the word marriage came into play and we started learning about the sacrament. I mean really learning about it and how we will live it day in and day out - 26 years and you think you know things. Things that we learned during our marriage prep, we're still using today. I find that pretty cool. That I had no idea that life could be this great, when it was perfectly normal not so long ago. This whole working as a team thing, I dig it. Well, I dig it with Justin. That fella.
Getting back to the trip. We woke up that morning in Lisbon and rode the train forty minutes west to the town of Sintra. It was the one place that everyone had suggested anytime we uttered the name Portugal.In all of our excitement to see what the fuss was, we forgot to check the forecast and noticed the gray skies as we pulled into the train station. Many of the other passengers congregated at the touristy cafés just outside, but we opted to brave the weather and hold out a little longer to see what they had closer to the center. A couple of blocks down the road, we stumbled upon Café Saudade, the most adorable vintage house. We settled in and stayed for two rounds of pastries with coffee and their homemade lemonade. Highly recommend, friends.The clouds began to let up and we made our way to the center. The Sintra National Palace hangs out in the middle of the square as if it were normal to have palaces right outside the commonplace patios. Tiny storefronts line the narrow streets as you gradually make your way up the hill.Past the shopping streets, the roads steepened and the crowds thinned. We began our climb up the rather large hill, taking our time along the way to admire the deep hued houses and look out to the city at the increasingly more beautiful view. The higher we went, the more Terra-cotta rooftops, the deeper we got into forestation.You see, the thing about Sintra is the Pena National Palace. There are other things that would make the town great on its own. The hills are a UNESCO site. There 's the National Palace and the Moorish Castle that you get to about halfway up (which we felt confident about by-passing) and of course the colors and views. But Pena is the grand prize. Like, after hiking 500 meters up, it's all - here's your reward! Now, go....frolic in my pretty! But first, you have to get there.There were these water fountains along the way that were completely unreal. I'm talking the size of our flat, covered in tiles, with one little spout. Many locals would drive by and fill up their water bottles or refresh their face with a quick splash before they hopped back in their truck and drove off.And then we made it. And it was magnificent. The sunshine even popped and we got to see the colors in all their glory.They were in the middle of ceiling restoration in the royal chambers while we were there. It was all done by hand with water and incredible to watch how painstakingly delicate it was.The ultimate fairytale castle did not disappoint. It's almost hard to go anywhere else and not be disappointed in the colors that would have been impressive last month. I think I'm addicted to colors. Ah, now I get addiction. But not really. Also, I feel like there's a connection between how bright the colors are and our marriage and the significance of this trip and I'm just gonna stop before the sappy takes over. Though, I could go there..just ask. J's making me stop.Up next, Porto. Home of Port. In Portugal. Port that. They did.