After exploring the lovely, historic city of Lisbon for a few days, it was time to get out of the city. A quick 45 minute trip by train, car or bus is the small town of Sintra. Sintra is small and quiet (when the hordes of tourists are not there) and is located among forests and mountains, giving it a cool breeze (and with it lots of Portuguese escaping the summer heat of Lisbon). It is most famous for its landmark, the “Palacio da Pena” (the Palace of Sorrows). This castle, sits atop one of the Sintra Mountains and is one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal (thus the hordes of tourists). Originally built as a chapel to Our Lady of Sorrow in the 15th century (because an apparition of the Virgin Mary is alleged to have occurred here) and later as a monastery, it was destroyed by an earthquake in the 18th century and later rebuilt by King Ferdinand II and his wife, Queen Maria II in the 19th century and used as a summer palace. It is multi-colored and a mix of architectural styles from the Gothic to Renaissance, Romantic and even incorporates elements of Islamic architecture. The Palacio da Pena is one of the “must see” things in Portugal. Enjoy the pictures!