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Pena Palace

July 31, 2008

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Out of all the palaces that we have been to, I think Pena Palace is my favorite. The architecture there just really appealed to me and if I were a queen, this is the palace that I would have liked. When I read it described as " exuberantly romantic" , I knew I had to see it and it did not disappoint. I love the Moorish influences combined with the Portuguese style. I do think this is one of the most romantic palaces in Europe, which is full of romantic castles! Of course, it is yet another World Heritage Site. Some say it was the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle and is the real magic kingdom.

Mozart picked out the perfect spot in the shade with a view and good seating, where we had our picnic. We were tucked away in a little alcove so perfectly private, although there were not too many people there on this beautiful day. Not sure how it is in high season, but nothing was crowded around June 11 when we were in this part of Portugal and the weather was sunny and good.

I loved the colors, shapes and views! I now have quite an understanding about Moorish architecture and appreciate it more than when we began this journey. I saw recurrent themes here that echoed details in Seville and at the Alhambra.  One large window had the strangest gargoyle attached to it which made Mozart giggle.  She loved going up and down the towers, exploring hidden archways and even found a well.  DaVinci was impressed with the surrounding landscape which he felt really made it stand out and was touched by an atrium inside that had a picturesque tree in the center.

You might notice that "Pippa"  (which is what Mozart calls the panda bear that we bought for her in Vienna at the beautiful Schonbrunn Palace Zoo) is in a few pictures with Mozart. We are participating in a website called Teddy Bears Around The World  which has many school kids  from around the world and started by a neat trilingual teacher nicknamed Langwitches.

Pippa is one of the  traveling teddy bears, so Mozart has had a really good time taking her touring with her and getting good shots for the other kids. Sometimes, I get photos of them together and then we will post many of them this fall when the school year starts again. We posted a few stories before we left. It is a great teaching tool for the kids and I have been delighted by how much Mozart has enjoyed adding this element to her traveling.

As is often the case, we just have too many beautiful pictures of Pena Palace to try and capture the story in the few I can post on the blog. DaVinci plans to work hard this winter getting our Flickr pictures and videos organized and up this winter. So hopefully, if you enjoy a post's pictures like this one and want to see more , you will be able to go to  flickr and see the whole collection of our best photos. We are still learning as we go and keep thinking up ways that we can make things better.

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Chandra

What an AMAZING place! Your photos look great!

Soultravelers3

Thanks Chandra! It really is a take your breath away kind of place....or was for us. In those cases it always feels like ones pictures can never live up to the beauty you experience in person.

Sara R.

Pena Palace was the favorite place I visited outside of Italy when I studied abroad there last year! Looking at the pictures you took there brings back such fond memories. By the way, this is Sara R. from My Wonderful World (National Geographic). Thanks for the comment on our blog piece last Friday! And good luck on the next stages of your journey!

Sara R.

Pena Palace was the favorite place I visited outside of Italy when I studied abroad there last year! Looking at the pictures you took there brings back such fond memories. By the way, this is Sara R. from My Wonderful World (National Geographic). Thanks for the comment on our blog piece last Friday! And good luck on the next stages of your journey!

soultravelers3

Thanks Sara for your kind words!
This palace is special, isn't it? I bet you had a great time last year!

Wow, studying abroad, internship at National Geographic....you are a lucky girl! Wishing you the best on your upcoming adventures!

BrittArnhild

Amazing, and yet another place I've never heard of.

I am in the process of booking a place for the 16 of us in Dunrovnik in August now. Alot of work, and alot of fun :-)

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