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Location: Sintra, Portugal
October, 2012

Before I went to Portugal, I knew nothing about this country, nor did I do any research, but I was lucky enough to have met the right people who brought me to this spectacular castle. Isn’t this what traveling is all about? Just going into the unknowns and play it all by ears. I was loving every single minute of it.

The Pena palace is located in a small town called Sintra about an hour away from Lisbon. The trip of getting there was a little complicated, but nothing we can’t manage. We took the subway to Sintra, and a bus up to the mountain then hiked. It just the weather made it a whole lot difficult. It started raining and got really cold when we arrived in Sintra, then waited for the bus forever to a point we almost gave up. So glad we didn’t. Because when we were finally up there, EVERYTHING was worth it. The palace is so wild and spectacular. It’s nothing like any castle I have ever seen before. All the rain and mist we were complaining earlier made it even grander and  more mysterious. I love the rawness, the colors and the architecture style, basically EVERYTHING about this palace. I was in awe and very much impressed.

There are so much to explore in that area. Besides all the different castles, the Initiation well itself is quite an adventure too. It’s deep and narrow. What made it so special is there’s a beautiful staircase inside the well which leads to the bottom of the well. We were almost the last ones who were still visiting. It was getting dark and rainy. Looking down the well itself was like a blackhole, super scary. Given the adventurous spirit of mine, I had to get to the bottom of the well. Oliver came along, but Julia was too sacred and waited us outside. It was like visiting the haunted house going down the well, but once we got through it, it wasn’t that bad after all. Surprisingly we found out the bottom of the well leads to the cave from the other side hill, which freaked out us at the first place when we were exploring. Now it all make sense. We heard some strange noises from the deep inside the cave when we were half way through, and ran out screaming. We thought the three women we saw earlier dressing in black turned into bats.

Ps: I had best barbecued wild rabbit ever at the random restaurant we walked into, after getting out the subway in Sintra. Nowadays, whenever I see rabbit on the menu, I bought of that, but they never taste the same.

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