Palace of Pena, Sintra

The Palace of Pena was built in the 19th century by Fernando of Saxe-Coburg, consort of Queen Maria II. It is described as an ‘exuberant creation’ and ‘the most striking example of Romantic architecture in Portugal,’ according to Parques de…

Moorish Castle Ruins, Sintra

Sintra’s Moorish Castle is a military fort believed to date back to the 9th century and the period of Arab occupation in Portugal. The castle ruins sit above Sintra’s historic town center and can be seen from many vantage points…

National Palace of Sintra

The National Palace of Sintra sits in the heart of the historic town center. Wikipedia states ‘It is the best preserved mediaeval Royal Palace in Portugal, having been inhabited more or less continuously from the early 15th up to the…

Sintra, Portugal

Sintra, a quaint town about a half hour northwest of Lisbon, emanates storybook romance. Surprisingly, this diminutive township boasts two royal palaces and Moorish castle ruins. Shops and restaurants bear an authentic warmth, with nicely tended flowers flanking open doorways…

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is a labyrinth of narrow one-way streets, classic buildings and orange tile rooftops. It’s narrow passageways might lead you to a courtyard filled with cafe tables or the odd cubbyhole commandeered as a parking spot for motorbikes. It offers…

Airport joyride!

A delayed flight and an ensuing line at customer service led us to take an electric car to a customer service counter at the other side of Newark airport. Mark, Sofia (friend of Xana’s on the same flight) and I…

Portugal, Spain, France!

Friday morning I will leave for Portugal, then travel on to Spain and France for 26 days of new experiences. This is my first time in southwest Europe and the third time I’ve visited a country where English, or some…

Dragonfly Totem

About ten years ago I felt drawn to dragonflies and their symbolism. I began studying these fascinating creatures and developed an understanding of the dragonfly as a totem. The dragonfly spends a majority of its life, around three years, as…

Odds and Ends

I’m heading home today. I will miss this place. Its been quite a wonder to experience. I wanted to post some photos–either particular favorites or ones that didn’t make it into previous entries. Enjoy! London Cambridge Kew Gardens Buckfastleigh Buckfast…

Town of Dartmouth

The town of Dartmouth rests on a hillside facing Kingswear, another quaint town across the River Dart. It boasts a castle and the 1905 Britannia Royal Naval College. It’s colorful buildings paint the hillside and extend past turquoise coves for…