Sintra in tourist mode

The CP urban train from Alverca, heading to Sintra is arriving at platform number two, stopping at all stations! By Catarina Tagaio

Entrecampos. 9:17. The doors close and the trains pulls away.

Lisbon is left behind. The confusion, stress, routines, everyday life is left behind. Today is escape day, Today is the day to find refuge in a lovely corner of Portugal: Sintra!

The refuge of poets and romantics, land of stories and urban myths, a magical, charming place and hypnotises the locals, visitors and the merely curious: Sintra is the place to visit!

The train tuns smoothly from station to station. Travellers get on and off but I say glued to the window. I watch as the colourful parade of countryside, people and thoughts follow me. Time passes and finally I get to Sintra.

Palácio da Pena, Castelo dos Mouros, Palácio Nacional de Sintra, Quinta da Regaleira, Palácio de Monserrate, Palácio de Seteais, the tram to praia das Maçãs, a walk through the Serra de Sintra… today Sintra (town) is the princess in my fairy tale. I am staying here (in tourist mode)!

I wander through the Jardim da Liberdade and the Municipal woods. Trees, birds and a blue sky keep me company and guide me to the town centre that is waiting for me. I drift around the streets and lanes packed with tourists and souvenir shops. A postcard here a postcard there... I pop into some shops and exchange a couple of words with the people. The houses are all different colours: Pink, yellow, blue, white and make me dream!

The sun crosses the sky and the hours tick by. Music hangs in the air.

One, two, three, four songs… I lose count!

I nibble a 'travesseiro' to the sound of Caetano Veloso songs.

I'd stay in this land of princesses and castles, but… Lisbon is waiting for me.

Sintra. 17:40. One door opens as another closes. There is a seat.

The view out of the window absorbs my mind. The stories, the castles, the princesses live on in the town. Sintra relaxes under a huge, intense moon.

My journey is ending…

“Next stop: Roma-Areeiro.”

See the photographs of the trip to Sintra here.