Into the Mist

This morning as we all peeled ourselves from our warm and cozy beds and tackled the mental moment, Monday morning so soon, we noticed we were en-caged by a mist. It’s a hazy, wet, muggy, mist that sits upon your windshield waiting for you to hit the wipers and clean it away. It evaporates once the sun comes out. Well, that mist is on every little window pane of glass and the big bay windows in our living room. It’s like being in a steam room except the steam is on the outside of the room. We’ve kept the windows closed last night so the thick, damp air couldn’t fill our entire home providing a glistening effect on the tiled floors and walls.

It’s actually warmer outside than it is inside. These homes are built similar to the ones in Italy. No insulation, just plaster on tops of concrete and bricks. The house is still holding onto the cold front we had come through last week. We need a good wind to push this Morocco mug out. From what I understand, we will get plenty of wind here this winter, and after a few windy days over the summer maybe I should not be wishing this stillness out. The wind can get wild! I’ll tell you one thing, if you want your skin to stay young and less wrinkly move to Portugal. She’s got a beautiful moisturizer built into her climate. My skin is loving the moisture. Take that my old Colorado skin!

As I sit at my newly re-modeled desk; I moved my green goblin sofa and chairs that I found at a market in Italy; with my shabby-chic red table, that someone so graciously donated to the curb in Washington State. It is now our family’s co-op work space. Anyhow, the mist today is not going away. It is nearly 12:30 P.M. and I’m trapped at my desk in the mist. Since the wipers connected to my body are not in the mood to clean windows today or the house, I will use them to take you on a journey into a place that was covered in the mist and fog one morning, a few weeks ago.

Welcome to the Pena Palace! One of the most romantic places on earth. She is located at the top of a hill called, the Serra de Sintra overlooking the town of Sintra, Portugal. On a clear day you can see her all the way from Lisbon.
{The photo below is from my hike with Suzanne to the top of the Castle of the Moors.}
Check out the fog and the mist she is covered in.

She’s another beauty that will not allow photos inside. I was not a rebel this time and let my camera sleep. I mean you’re surrounded by surveillance cameras and there seems to be an attendant in each room so rebellion is not allowed. {EDITED ON MAY 15TH 2014 YOU CAN NOW TAKE CAMERAS INSIDE. THERE IS JUST NO FLASH. I GOT MANY OF THE INSIDE AND PLAN ON DOING ANOTHER WRITE UP ON THIS PALACE.} I took the time to take in all the different elements of design that make up the Pena Palace. Focusing on detail instead of what the lens might snap. She is an all-around girl who has an eclectic mix of styles.

Her history dates back to the middle ages and actually started off small as a place for a handful of monks to live and pray.  After the Great Lisbon Earthquake in 1755 the monastery that was built here was reduced to shambles and sat untouched for quite a few years, that was until  Ferdinand II came along.

In 1838, as King consort Ferdinand II, decided to acquire the old monastery, all of the surrounding lands, the nearby Castle of the Moors and a few other estates in the area.
King Ferdinand then set out to transform the remains of the monastery into a palace that would serve as a summer residence for the Portuguese royal family.

The Pena palace is a mixture of Romanticism, Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Islamic, and Neo-Renaissance architectural design.

If you make a visit to Portugal, in and around the Lisbon area, a trip to Sintra and a tour of the palace is a must. It is 12 euro to visit. You can choose to walk the path to the palace or you can ride on a trolley car for 2 euro. It takes you up and brings you back for the ticket price. {Otherwise it is about a 10 minute hike up hill.} There are so many sites to see in Sintra and thankfully there is a combo pass you can purchase that lowers the prices into the sites.

We didn’t make it to every site in Sintra while my friend Suzanne was visiting. But we did pretty well with our time there. I have two more palaces from Sintra that I will be sharing with you in the future. More family and friends are scheduled to visit us during our time while living in Portugal. I know we have a lot more to see!!! I also have to remind myself that while others are on vacation the Gibson’s are not. I have to budget for my husband’s upcoming trips
{Hungary, Belgium and Paris are coming soon!}

I had a good time lunching every day for 2 weeks!!! It was so nice to be immersed with Portuguese and European travelers while dining with my friend. They take the time to dine, to savor the moment by not rushing through lunch. An adult beverage is something many enjoy and then finish off their meal with a cigarette and tiny espresso. Yes, in Italy life is lived this way as well. My friend Kristen and I would head off on a whim into some random location or dine along the Amalfi Coast. When the days are just regular days, filled with laundry, cooking, cleaning and writing, I reminisce and think of my favorite lunch times.

The last few weeks I experienced a palace full of dining rooms. I felt like royalty being able to sit somewhere new each day for lunch. I became one of those ladies, “ladies that lunch”. It was a blast going out each day for lunch but I must say, after two weeks of it, I’ve found I like my routine. Writing each day and being housemanager/worker of Casa di Gibson!  The balance of routine and spontaneous activity is needed in this chopped girl’s life!!! That is all for today, into the mist I must go, I have pictures I need to upload to the facebook page and the laundry needs to be hung. I wonder how long it will take for it to dry in the mist???

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