Mafra, Obidos, Sintra

For sake of time and mental energy (still playing essay editor everyday), this post will probably feature even less writing than the last one-- but I've got lots of fun pics from another awesome field trip that I want my mommy to see.

*Hi mom.*

Ok.  So.  Arrive in Lisbon and eat dinner with BYU friends at a yummy pasta place!  Waitress gets the major giggles over Shad discovering that the "pig cheek" meat in his pasta dish was actually pig bum cheek.

First thing next morn, the Mafra palace! 

Visit the infirmary, or in Harry Potter language, the hospital wing.

Dub this room the epitome of, "I use antlers in all of my deeeeecorating..."

Dining room goals.

Do I even dare to say library goals? Probably not.

Fun fact: these books are preserved, in a way, by tons of bats that are allowed to fly around this library at night. The bats eat all the bugs that might threaten the books, and the library workers clean up the bat poop, which I guess isn't a huge concern. What an interesting method!

Enjoy the sunny cloister and birds of prey on display.

Stop for lunch at a cutesy museum-type village constructed by a rich man that wanted to preserve the Portuguese life of yesteryear! 

Take a quick dip in the ocean: Shad, whose borrowed swimming suit was hilariously too small.

Sit on the warm beach and watch husband frolic: Whitney, whose Vans held firm against the sand invasion.

Ride the bus to Obidos, which turns out to be the most immersive and unexpectedly entertaining night of the trip so far.

The entire program group changes into rented costumes and the medieval fair begins!

Stop in my tracks over the breathtaking view (the photo does not do justice). 

And try to avoid the creepy cannibal lady on our way down the hill.

Chow down on meat kabobs and freshly baked bread.

Check out this guy going ham (heh) on the rotisserie pig!

Wander the castle grounds, taking it all in. 

Of course I pick a dress that drowns me, but at least it resembles Princess Fiona's getup.

Chicken out over peeking into the "red light" tent.

End the night with a Knightly tournament!

Just in case you haven't had enough, you can find more videos here and here for your viewing pleasure (but of course at your own risk).

Ok.  Next day, take a trip out to the municipality of Sintra for a few hours of sightseeing!

 Ride around town and up to the castles in a tuk tuk.

Explore the Pena Palace (please research if you'd like to know more) and grounds.

Photograph the Moorish Castle.

Eat lunch and try to help a Frenchwoman in her communication struggles-- doesn't go well.

Wait in line for 45 minutes for a castle we thought would be a little "off the beaten path" but is a total crowd pleaser.

But while looking at these photos, ya gotta listen to these creepy chimes that played in my head while we were there...

Ok. This present tense thing is getting tiring, so let me explain this place like a normal person. 

I usually see places that are gothic in style or mood as romantic rather than spooky, but this castle was... strange, with a strange history.  To me, it really felt like a haunted house where weird things have happened (it wasn't until after leaving Sintra that our Uber driver told us all about how Sintra is full of "witches...").  

Take this "Gate of the Guardians," for instance. It leads you into these dark, cave-like secret passages...

That take you to what's called the "initiation well." 


There are a couple of wells, one of them unfinished, but supposedly the initiation well was used for cult ceremonies of some kind?  I'm not sure I want to know.  But I was a bit unsettled.

I like cute wishing wells, not mysteriously sinister ones.

Maybe I'm overreacting-- the rest of the grounds are indeed beautiful, featuring all kinds of cool structures.

And those secret passageways lead to a little waterfall and pond.

But again, creepy feelings abound in the actual house...

Thankfully we survived without any "ghosts in our car!" (inside joke). You can turn off the music now.

I'll return to form by saying:

Finish off the day with some, and I quote, "refrigerator cold" spring water that our tuk tuk driver won't let us miss.

And pose for a photo with him because he looks and acts kind of like Jimmy Fallon.

Make it back to our northern headquarters several hours later safe and sound!


1 comment:

  1. Whit! I finally got caught up on your blog! Wowza what a great post. Funny, interesting, very descriptive. I will read this again and take the time to really enjoy every photo. Keep sharing girl!