She walks in beauty like the night . . .

 Byron
Sintra“ . . . we have seen all sorts of marvelous sights, palaces, convents . . . I must just observe that the village of Cintra in Estramadura is the most beautiful, perhaps in the world.”

So wrote Lord Byron in an 1809 letter to Francis Hodgson, describing the magical beauty of Sintra, a Portuguese mountaintop region overlooking the Atlantic (crowned by a town of the same name) which is located just west of Lisbon. He also waxed poetic about the area in
Caboa letter to his mother, stating,

“Perhaps in every aspect the most delightful in Europe; it contains beauties of every description natural and artificial. Palaces and gardens rising in the midst of rocks, cataracts and precipices, convents on stupendous heights, a distant view of the sea and the Tagus.”

Robert-SoutheyByron’s fellow English wordsmith Robert Southey, one of the Lake Poets and later Poet Laureate of England, called it "the most blessed spot on the whole inhabitable globe."

Phillipa-of-lancasterIronically enough, it was one of Byron’s ancestors—Phillipa of Lancaster, queen consort of the Portuguese king John I—who helped put Sintra on the map for foreign travelers. Because of its cool climate, shady forests and breathtaking vistas, she and her husband  chose it as a royal retreat from the sweltering heat of Lisbon. But they were not the first to be attracted by its unique charms.

The Romans established a cult to the Moon on its hills, naming the place “Cynthia” after the Goddess of the night orb. The Moors were also drawn to the place and established a castle there in the 8th century. It fell back into Christian hands in 1147, and since then has played host to Royals and countless travelers from all points of the compass.

Cabo-2
Me-in-towerIncluding me. I was lucky enough to visit the area recently, and had a chance to meander through the enchanted forests, historic churches and fairytale palaces that offer majestic vistas of the countryside and Cabo da Rocha, the westernmost point of land in all of Europe.

Pena_National_Palace
PP-3One of the most fascinating sites is Pena National Palace, considered one of the finest visual examples of 19th century Romanticism in the world. Built on the site of a historic medieval chapel, it was completed in 1854 and used as the summer residence of the Royal family until the Republican Revolution of 1910, after which it was turned into a museum. It’s a spectacularly interesting place to visit—the interiors are full of period furnishings give a wonderful feel of daily life in the era. As for the decorative details of the exterior—I shall let the photos speak for themselves.

 
PP-4
PP5

Newt
PP7

LO-2
LO-5Now, Byron favored the Lawrence Hotel during his visit to the area, but I discovered my own local modern-day gem. Nestled on the Estoril coastline in a stunning setting of wind-carved sand dunes, native grasses and pine trees, The Oitavos, a luxury 5-star hotel and sporting resort, would have greatly pleased the English poet —a man known to enjoy both beauty and sybaritic pleasures. Designed by Portuguese architect/artist Jose Anahory, its sleek, minimalist lines are graced by his paintings and sculptures, which complement the sublime surroundings. The guest rooms are spacious and ultra-modern, with views of the sea or the sun-kissed sand dunes. In the distance, Sintra and its historic monuments seem to wink through the morning mists to signal approval of their new companheiro.

LO-3After exhausting myself exploring the splendors of Sintra, it was bliss to return to The Oitavos and relax over a glass of lovely Portuguese wine (Like my Regency heroes, I chose port for my postprandial treat) and the superb cuisine of chef Cyril Divilliers. Oh, the agony of choice—with three fabulous restaurants, it was hard to decide whether to savor a gourmet meal at Ipsylon, enjoy sushi in the Ipsylon Lounge or snack on more casual fare on the Atlantic Pool Bar while watching the sun set over the ocean. (Like Byron, I felt inspired to write an ode . . . however I shall spare you. My poetry is not quite up to snuff with his.)

The Oitavos is just a stone’s throw from the historic seaside town of Cascais, where an old military fort, art galleries, shops and outdoor cafes provided me with a very pleasant diversion for the morning. (The hotel has bicycles for the quick ride into town, and the scenic ride right along the ocean is well worth the pedaling.)

LO-4As the resident Wench jock, I was also delighted to stay at the resort and play golf on the 18-hole championship course that winds through the undulating linksland and stands of umbrella pines. Designed by Arthur Hills to fit in seamless harmony with nature, Oitavos Dunes is ranked in the Top 100 in the world, and from the first tee, it was obvious why. The setting is, in a word, spectacular and the ocean winds can make each round a wonderful challenge of shotmaking. (Though when I added up my score I headed right back to the bar and ordered another glass of port. Not that I’m complaining!) There's also a wonderful spa, with organic seaweed treatments, and a topnotch equestrian center for those who, like Byron, prefer to take in the scenery on horseback.

OD-1There aren’t many places in the world that are as alluring as Sintra and the Estoril coast. To sum up the experience, I shall hand the pen back to Lord Byron, who paid his most public homage to the area in Canto 18 of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage:

Lo!  Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes
In variegated maze of mount and glen.
Ah me! What hand can pencil guide, or pen,
To follow half on which the eye dilates
Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken
Than those whereof such things the bard relates,
Who to the awe-struck world unlocked Elysium's gates?

Um, I couldn’t say it any better myself.

So what about you? Has any poem or painting inspired you to want to visit a specific place? Or is there some spot whose history or historic ruins have made you put it on your Bucket List? I confess, before I breathe my last, I would love to visit Istanbul. I’m totally fascinated by its storied past and fabulous confluence of cultures. And then there is the Greek Isles . . . 

100 thoughts on “She walks in beauty like the night . . .”

  1. Although I dislike much of his writing, Wordsworth did write a couple of good poems (!) and his Tintern Abbey inspired me to visit the original on the Wye Valley. Had I seen Turner’s wonderful painting of the Abbey before I went that would have done the trick too!
    I have bookmarked your post and hope to be able to say one day that it inspired me to visit Sintra.

    Reply
  2. Although I dislike much of his writing, Wordsworth did write a couple of good poems (!) and his Tintern Abbey inspired me to visit the original on the Wye Valley. Had I seen Turner’s wonderful painting of the Abbey before I went that would have done the trick too!
    I have bookmarked your post and hope to be able to say one day that it inspired me to visit Sintra.

    Reply
  3. Although I dislike much of his writing, Wordsworth did write a couple of good poems (!) and his Tintern Abbey inspired me to visit the original on the Wye Valley. Had I seen Turner’s wonderful painting of the Abbey before I went that would have done the trick too!
    I have bookmarked your post and hope to be able to say one day that it inspired me to visit Sintra.

    Reply
  4. Although I dislike much of his writing, Wordsworth did write a couple of good poems (!) and his Tintern Abbey inspired me to visit the original on the Wye Valley. Had I seen Turner’s wonderful painting of the Abbey before I went that would have done the trick too!
    I have bookmarked your post and hope to be able to say one day that it inspired me to visit Sintra.

    Reply
  5. Although I dislike much of his writing, Wordsworth did write a couple of good poems (!) and his Tintern Abbey inspired me to visit the original on the Wye Valley. Had I seen Turner’s wonderful painting of the Abbey before I went that would have done the trick too!
    I have bookmarked your post and hope to be able to say one day that it inspired me to visit Sintra.

    Reply
  6. HJ, having seen Tintern Abbey and the Wye Valley several years ago on a trip through Wales (fluttery sigh) I heartily agree that Wordsworth’s poem did not steer you wrong! Isn’t the whole area spectacular? (Not to speak of the wonderful food—I still think longingly of the local cheeses!)
    I think you would enjoy Sintra. It has the same sort of magic.

    Reply
  7. HJ, having seen Tintern Abbey and the Wye Valley several years ago on a trip through Wales (fluttery sigh) I heartily agree that Wordsworth’s poem did not steer you wrong! Isn’t the whole area spectacular? (Not to speak of the wonderful food—I still think longingly of the local cheeses!)
    I think you would enjoy Sintra. It has the same sort of magic.

    Reply
  8. HJ, having seen Tintern Abbey and the Wye Valley several years ago on a trip through Wales (fluttery sigh) I heartily agree that Wordsworth’s poem did not steer you wrong! Isn’t the whole area spectacular? (Not to speak of the wonderful food—I still think longingly of the local cheeses!)
    I think you would enjoy Sintra. It has the same sort of magic.

    Reply
  9. HJ, having seen Tintern Abbey and the Wye Valley several years ago on a trip through Wales (fluttery sigh) I heartily agree that Wordsworth’s poem did not steer you wrong! Isn’t the whole area spectacular? (Not to speak of the wonderful food—I still think longingly of the local cheeses!)
    I think you would enjoy Sintra. It has the same sort of magic.

    Reply
  10. HJ, having seen Tintern Abbey and the Wye Valley several years ago on a trip through Wales (fluttery sigh) I heartily agree that Wordsworth’s poem did not steer you wrong! Isn’t the whole area spectacular? (Not to speak of the wonderful food—I still think longingly of the local cheeses!)
    I think you would enjoy Sintra. It has the same sort of magic.

    Reply
  11. Fascinating post, Cara. You’ve now inspired me to put Sintra on my “Must See” list. And The Oitavos sounds to die for too.
    I’m off to Travelocity to start checking flights!

    Reply
  12. Fascinating post, Cara. You’ve now inspired me to put Sintra on my “Must See” list. And The Oitavos sounds to die for too.
    I’m off to Travelocity to start checking flights!

    Reply
  13. Fascinating post, Cara. You’ve now inspired me to put Sintra on my “Must See” list. And The Oitavos sounds to die for too.
    I’m off to Travelocity to start checking flights!

    Reply
  14. Fascinating post, Cara. You’ve now inspired me to put Sintra on my “Must See” list. And The Oitavos sounds to die for too.
    I’m off to Travelocity to start checking flights!

    Reply
  15. Fascinating post, Cara. You’ve now inspired me to put Sintra on my “Must See” list. And The Oitavos sounds to die for too.
    I’m off to Travelocity to start checking flights!

    Reply
  16. Cara, you make me want to visit Portugal!
    I had the good fortune to do a semester in Rome my sophomore year in college, and I traveled all over Europe…10 days in Greece; a long weekend in Cefalu, Sicily (a Norman town on the northern coast); Nice, Antibes, Paris; Koln, Munich, Garmisch and others in Germany; all over Italy (Assisi, Sorrento, Capri, Todi, Florence, Subiaco, Tivoli, etc.); Vienna (Kathleen Battle and Luciano Pavarotti opening night at the Vienna Opera in L’Elisir d’Amore!).
    The place I most wanted to see, perhaps, was Chartres Cathedral. I had learned about it, and its long history and two different spires, in my h.s. junior year Humanities class, and had wanted to see it ever since. I still remember sitting in a little cafe across the street from the cathedral, lunching on French onion soup and wine, while gazing through the window at that wondrous cathedral.
    My next planned trip to Europe is to see the Christmas Market in Munich, this Christmas. At least, that’s the plan. We’ll see how much this addition on our house ends up costing, lol!
    Hugs,
    Jaye

    Reply
  17. Cara, you make me want to visit Portugal!
    I had the good fortune to do a semester in Rome my sophomore year in college, and I traveled all over Europe…10 days in Greece; a long weekend in Cefalu, Sicily (a Norman town on the northern coast); Nice, Antibes, Paris; Koln, Munich, Garmisch and others in Germany; all over Italy (Assisi, Sorrento, Capri, Todi, Florence, Subiaco, Tivoli, etc.); Vienna (Kathleen Battle and Luciano Pavarotti opening night at the Vienna Opera in L’Elisir d’Amore!).
    The place I most wanted to see, perhaps, was Chartres Cathedral. I had learned about it, and its long history and two different spires, in my h.s. junior year Humanities class, and had wanted to see it ever since. I still remember sitting in a little cafe across the street from the cathedral, lunching on French onion soup and wine, while gazing through the window at that wondrous cathedral.
    My next planned trip to Europe is to see the Christmas Market in Munich, this Christmas. At least, that’s the plan. We’ll see how much this addition on our house ends up costing, lol!
    Hugs,
    Jaye

    Reply
  18. Cara, you make me want to visit Portugal!
    I had the good fortune to do a semester in Rome my sophomore year in college, and I traveled all over Europe…10 days in Greece; a long weekend in Cefalu, Sicily (a Norman town on the northern coast); Nice, Antibes, Paris; Koln, Munich, Garmisch and others in Germany; all over Italy (Assisi, Sorrento, Capri, Todi, Florence, Subiaco, Tivoli, etc.); Vienna (Kathleen Battle and Luciano Pavarotti opening night at the Vienna Opera in L’Elisir d’Amore!).
    The place I most wanted to see, perhaps, was Chartres Cathedral. I had learned about it, and its long history and two different spires, in my h.s. junior year Humanities class, and had wanted to see it ever since. I still remember sitting in a little cafe across the street from the cathedral, lunching on French onion soup and wine, while gazing through the window at that wondrous cathedral.
    My next planned trip to Europe is to see the Christmas Market in Munich, this Christmas. At least, that’s the plan. We’ll see how much this addition on our house ends up costing, lol!
    Hugs,
    Jaye

    Reply
  19. Cara, you make me want to visit Portugal!
    I had the good fortune to do a semester in Rome my sophomore year in college, and I traveled all over Europe…10 days in Greece; a long weekend in Cefalu, Sicily (a Norman town on the northern coast); Nice, Antibes, Paris; Koln, Munich, Garmisch and others in Germany; all over Italy (Assisi, Sorrento, Capri, Todi, Florence, Subiaco, Tivoli, etc.); Vienna (Kathleen Battle and Luciano Pavarotti opening night at the Vienna Opera in L’Elisir d’Amore!).
    The place I most wanted to see, perhaps, was Chartres Cathedral. I had learned about it, and its long history and two different spires, in my h.s. junior year Humanities class, and had wanted to see it ever since. I still remember sitting in a little cafe across the street from the cathedral, lunching on French onion soup and wine, while gazing through the window at that wondrous cathedral.
    My next planned trip to Europe is to see the Christmas Market in Munich, this Christmas. At least, that’s the plan. We’ll see how much this addition on our house ends up costing, lol!
    Hugs,
    Jaye

    Reply
  20. Cara, you make me want to visit Portugal!
    I had the good fortune to do a semester in Rome my sophomore year in college, and I traveled all over Europe…10 days in Greece; a long weekend in Cefalu, Sicily (a Norman town on the northern coast); Nice, Antibes, Paris; Koln, Munich, Garmisch and others in Germany; all over Italy (Assisi, Sorrento, Capri, Todi, Florence, Subiaco, Tivoli, etc.); Vienna (Kathleen Battle and Luciano Pavarotti opening night at the Vienna Opera in L’Elisir d’Amore!).
    The place I most wanted to see, perhaps, was Chartres Cathedral. I had learned about it, and its long history and two different spires, in my h.s. junior year Humanities class, and had wanted to see it ever since. I still remember sitting in a little cafe across the street from the cathedral, lunching on French onion soup and wine, while gazing through the window at that wondrous cathedral.
    My next planned trip to Europe is to see the Christmas Market in Munich, this Christmas. At least, that’s the plan. We’ll see how much this addition on our house ends up costing, lol!
    Hugs,
    Jaye

    Reply
  21. Jayne Marie, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful travels. Isn’t it a special feeling to finally see a sight you’ve been yearning to visit. Just sitting and drinking it in is an amazing feeling.
    I’ve heard the Christmas Market in Munich is a real treat. I hope you get to celebrate the holiday as planned!

    Reply
  22. Jayne Marie, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful travels. Isn’t it a special feeling to finally see a sight you’ve been yearning to visit. Just sitting and drinking it in is an amazing feeling.
    I’ve heard the Christmas Market in Munich is a real treat. I hope you get to celebrate the holiday as planned!

    Reply
  23. Jayne Marie, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful travels. Isn’t it a special feeling to finally see a sight you’ve been yearning to visit. Just sitting and drinking it in is an amazing feeling.
    I’ve heard the Christmas Market in Munich is a real treat. I hope you get to celebrate the holiday as planned!

    Reply
  24. Jayne Marie, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful travels. Isn’t it a special feeling to finally see a sight you’ve been yearning to visit. Just sitting and drinking it in is an amazing feeling.
    I’ve heard the Christmas Market in Munich is a real treat. I hope you get to celebrate the holiday as planned!

    Reply
  25. Jayne Marie, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful travels. Isn’t it a special feeling to finally see a sight you’ve been yearning to visit. Just sitting and drinking it in is an amazing feeling.
    I’ve heard the Christmas Market in Munich is a real treat. I hope you get to celebrate the holiday as planned!

    Reply
  26. Yes, Margaret, Id did sample the pastries! And yes, they were wonderful. The beaches along the coast are just wonderful. I watched surfers near Cabo da Rocha, then bicycled to Cascais along the rocky outcroppings—really spectacular! It’s a very special area. And Lisbon is such an interesting city too, and is just a half hour away.

    Reply
  27. Yes, Margaret, Id did sample the pastries! And yes, they were wonderful. The beaches along the coast are just wonderful. I watched surfers near Cabo da Rocha, then bicycled to Cascais along the rocky outcroppings—really spectacular! It’s a very special area. And Lisbon is such an interesting city too, and is just a half hour away.

    Reply
  28. Yes, Margaret, Id did sample the pastries! And yes, they were wonderful. The beaches along the coast are just wonderful. I watched surfers near Cabo da Rocha, then bicycled to Cascais along the rocky outcroppings—really spectacular! It’s a very special area. And Lisbon is such an interesting city too, and is just a half hour away.

    Reply
  29. Yes, Margaret, Id did sample the pastries! And yes, they were wonderful. The beaches along the coast are just wonderful. I watched surfers near Cabo da Rocha, then bicycled to Cascais along the rocky outcroppings—really spectacular! It’s a very special area. And Lisbon is such an interesting city too, and is just a half hour away.

    Reply
  30. Yes, Margaret, Id did sample the pastries! And yes, they were wonderful. The beaches along the coast are just wonderful. I watched surfers near Cabo da Rocha, then bicycled to Cascais along the rocky outcroppings—really spectacular! It’s a very special area. And Lisbon is such an interesting city too, and is just a half hour away.

    Reply
  31. Andrea–
    Sintra sounds marvelous! I’ve visited Portugal and saw many wondrous things, but there is so much more I didn’t see!
    I’m readily influenced to travel by a well turned phrase. Mary Stewart’s tales of Greek Islands got me there, and wonderful they were! So much world, so little time…

    Reply
  32. Andrea–
    Sintra sounds marvelous! I’ve visited Portugal and saw many wondrous things, but there is so much more I didn’t see!
    I’m readily influenced to travel by a well turned phrase. Mary Stewart’s tales of Greek Islands got me there, and wonderful they were! So much world, so little time…

    Reply
  33. Andrea–
    Sintra sounds marvelous! I’ve visited Portugal and saw many wondrous things, but there is so much more I didn’t see!
    I’m readily influenced to travel by a well turned phrase. Mary Stewart’s tales of Greek Islands got me there, and wonderful they were! So much world, so little time…

    Reply
  34. Andrea–
    Sintra sounds marvelous! I’ve visited Portugal and saw many wondrous things, but there is so much more I didn’t see!
    I’m readily influenced to travel by a well turned phrase. Mary Stewart’s tales of Greek Islands got me there, and wonderful they were! So much world, so little time…

    Reply
  35. Andrea–
    Sintra sounds marvelous! I’ve visited Portugal and saw many wondrous things, but there is so much more I didn’t see!
    I’m readily influenced to travel by a well turned phrase. Mary Stewart’s tales of Greek Islands got me there, and wonderful they were! So much world, so little time…

    Reply
  36. Mary Jo, Sintra really is a must for every history lover. It’s amazingly beautiful, and the Estoril beaches and oceans are wonderful as well. Then there is the Tagus River right there at Cascais, leading into Lisbon, a city rife with Napoleonic war history . . .I need to go back!
    Mary Stewart also made me yearn to see the Greek Isles. haven’t gotten there yet, but I will!

    Reply
  37. Mary Jo, Sintra really is a must for every history lover. It’s amazingly beautiful, and the Estoril beaches and oceans are wonderful as well. Then there is the Tagus River right there at Cascais, leading into Lisbon, a city rife with Napoleonic war history . . .I need to go back!
    Mary Stewart also made me yearn to see the Greek Isles. haven’t gotten there yet, but I will!

    Reply
  38. Mary Jo, Sintra really is a must for every history lover. It’s amazingly beautiful, and the Estoril beaches and oceans are wonderful as well. Then there is the Tagus River right there at Cascais, leading into Lisbon, a city rife with Napoleonic war history . . .I need to go back!
    Mary Stewart also made me yearn to see the Greek Isles. haven’t gotten there yet, but I will!

    Reply
  39. Mary Jo, Sintra really is a must for every history lover. It’s amazingly beautiful, and the Estoril beaches and oceans are wonderful as well. Then there is the Tagus River right there at Cascais, leading into Lisbon, a city rife with Napoleonic war history . . .I need to go back!
    Mary Stewart also made me yearn to see the Greek Isles. haven’t gotten there yet, but I will!

    Reply
  40. Mary Jo, Sintra really is a must for every history lover. It’s amazingly beautiful, and the Estoril beaches and oceans are wonderful as well. Then there is the Tagus River right there at Cascais, leading into Lisbon, a city rife with Napoleonic war history . . .I need to go back!
    Mary Stewart also made me yearn to see the Greek Isles. haven’t gotten there yet, but I will!

    Reply
  41. I agree that Cintra is magical. It had a gothic tinge on the blustery March day when I visited… and it’s certainly going into a story soon. As for Istanbul, oh Cara, don’t delay. It is a truly wonderful city. I’ve sprinkled posts about it in my blog and website and have written two Ottoman Regency tales, set in Istanbul. The trouble is – the more I go, the more I want to, so keep making up excuses [ for ‘research’] to go again.

    Reply
  42. I agree that Cintra is magical. It had a gothic tinge on the blustery March day when I visited… and it’s certainly going into a story soon. As for Istanbul, oh Cara, don’t delay. It is a truly wonderful city. I’ve sprinkled posts about it in my blog and website and have written two Ottoman Regency tales, set in Istanbul. The trouble is – the more I go, the more I want to, so keep making up excuses [ for ‘research’] to go again.

    Reply
  43. I agree that Cintra is magical. It had a gothic tinge on the blustery March day when I visited… and it’s certainly going into a story soon. As for Istanbul, oh Cara, don’t delay. It is a truly wonderful city. I’ve sprinkled posts about it in my blog and website and have written two Ottoman Regency tales, set in Istanbul. The trouble is – the more I go, the more I want to, so keep making up excuses [ for ‘research’] to go again.

    Reply
  44. I agree that Cintra is magical. It had a gothic tinge on the blustery March day when I visited… and it’s certainly going into a story soon. As for Istanbul, oh Cara, don’t delay. It is a truly wonderful city. I’ve sprinkled posts about it in my blog and website and have written two Ottoman Regency tales, set in Istanbul. The trouble is – the more I go, the more I want to, so keep making up excuses [ for ‘research’] to go again.

    Reply
  45. I agree that Cintra is magical. It had a gothic tinge on the blustery March day when I visited… and it’s certainly going into a story soon. As for Istanbul, oh Cara, don’t delay. It is a truly wonderful city. I’ve sprinkled posts about it in my blog and website and have written two Ottoman Regency tales, set in Istanbul. The trouble is – the more I go, the more I want to, so keep making up excuses [ for ‘research’] to go again.

    Reply
  46. Lovely post Cara/Andrea — I’ve never been to Portugal, though I have been to Spain. I’ve visited most of the Greek isles several times and each has its own special beauty. I also want to visit the Christmas markets in Munich — I went to one in Switzerland (Zurich) many years ago and it was wonderful. Istanbul is another place I’ve never been to, and would love tovisit. Sigh. Such itchy feet I have. *g*

    Reply
  47. Lovely post Cara/Andrea — I’ve never been to Portugal, though I have been to Spain. I’ve visited most of the Greek isles several times and each has its own special beauty. I also want to visit the Christmas markets in Munich — I went to one in Switzerland (Zurich) many years ago and it was wonderful. Istanbul is another place I’ve never been to, and would love tovisit. Sigh. Such itchy feet I have. *g*

    Reply
  48. Lovely post Cara/Andrea — I’ve never been to Portugal, though I have been to Spain. I’ve visited most of the Greek isles several times and each has its own special beauty. I also want to visit the Christmas markets in Munich — I went to one in Switzerland (Zurich) many years ago and it was wonderful. Istanbul is another place I’ve never been to, and would love tovisit. Sigh. Such itchy feet I have. *g*

    Reply
  49. Lovely post Cara/Andrea — I’ve never been to Portugal, though I have been to Spain. I’ve visited most of the Greek isles several times and each has its own special beauty. I also want to visit the Christmas markets in Munich — I went to one in Switzerland (Zurich) many years ago and it was wonderful. Istanbul is another place I’ve never been to, and would love tovisit. Sigh. Such itchy feet I have. *g*

    Reply
  50. Lovely post Cara/Andrea — I’ve never been to Portugal, though I have been to Spain. I’ve visited most of the Greek isles several times and each has its own special beauty. I also want to visit the Christmas markets in Munich — I went to one in Switzerland (Zurich) many years ago and it was wonderful. Istanbul is another place I’ve never been to, and would love tovisit. Sigh. Such itchy feet I have. *g*

    Reply
  51. Beth, I came through up through the forest when there was a heavy mist, and it was like something out of a Mary Stewart novel . . .very atmospheric!
    I will check out your blog. I know I would adore Istanbul, as I’ve read a lot about its history, and am fascinated by the art and architecture. And can’t wait to read your Regencies set there. How wonderful that you wove in your love of an exotic place. (I’ve written a regency set in Russia, which I also find fascinating.)

    Reply
  52. Beth, I came through up through the forest when there was a heavy mist, and it was like something out of a Mary Stewart novel . . .very atmospheric!
    I will check out your blog. I know I would adore Istanbul, as I’ve read a lot about its history, and am fascinated by the art and architecture. And can’t wait to read your Regencies set there. How wonderful that you wove in your love of an exotic place. (I’ve written a regency set in Russia, which I also find fascinating.)

    Reply
  53. Beth, I came through up through the forest when there was a heavy mist, and it was like something out of a Mary Stewart novel . . .very atmospheric!
    I will check out your blog. I know I would adore Istanbul, as I’ve read a lot about its history, and am fascinated by the art and architecture. And can’t wait to read your Regencies set there. How wonderful that you wove in your love of an exotic place. (I’ve written a regency set in Russia, which I also find fascinating.)

    Reply
  54. Beth, I came through up through the forest when there was a heavy mist, and it was like something out of a Mary Stewart novel . . .very atmospheric!
    I will check out your blog. I know I would adore Istanbul, as I’ve read a lot about its history, and am fascinated by the art and architecture. And can’t wait to read your Regencies set there. How wonderful that you wove in your love of an exotic place. (I’ve written a regency set in Russia, which I also find fascinating.)

    Reply
  55. Beth, I came through up through the forest when there was a heavy mist, and it was like something out of a Mary Stewart novel . . .very atmospheric!
    I will check out your blog. I know I would adore Istanbul, as I’ve read a lot about its history, and am fascinated by the art and architecture. And can’t wait to read your Regencies set there. How wonderful that you wove in your love of an exotic place. (I’ve written a regency set in Russia, which I also find fascinating.)

    Reply
  56. Anne, I envy you and Mary Jo having seen the Greek Isles . . .maybe you and I should meet in Istanbul. I’venever been a big fan of cruises, but I’ve seen some educational/ small ship ones that leave from Venice, go down the Adriatic Coast, through the Greek Isles and end in Istanbul. THAT one I could go for. Assuming I win the Lottery

    Reply
  57. Anne, I envy you and Mary Jo having seen the Greek Isles . . .maybe you and I should meet in Istanbul. I’venever been a big fan of cruises, but I’ve seen some educational/ small ship ones that leave from Venice, go down the Adriatic Coast, through the Greek Isles and end in Istanbul. THAT one I could go for. Assuming I win the Lottery

    Reply
  58. Anne, I envy you and Mary Jo having seen the Greek Isles . . .maybe you and I should meet in Istanbul. I’venever been a big fan of cruises, but I’ve seen some educational/ small ship ones that leave from Venice, go down the Adriatic Coast, through the Greek Isles and end in Istanbul. THAT one I could go for. Assuming I win the Lottery

    Reply
  59. Anne, I envy you and Mary Jo having seen the Greek Isles . . .maybe you and I should meet in Istanbul. I’venever been a big fan of cruises, but I’ve seen some educational/ small ship ones that leave from Venice, go down the Adriatic Coast, through the Greek Isles and end in Istanbul. THAT one I could go for. Assuming I win the Lottery

    Reply
  60. Anne, I envy you and Mary Jo having seen the Greek Isles . . .maybe you and I should meet in Istanbul. I’venever been a big fan of cruises, but I’ve seen some educational/ small ship ones that leave from Venice, go down the Adriatic Coast, through the Greek Isles and end in Istanbul. THAT one I could go for. Assuming I win the Lottery

    Reply
  61. Aargh! I’ve just returned from a lifetime bucket list trip through Patagonia, only to read your blog post and become fixated on a trip to Portugal! The list is supposed to shorten, not lengthen! You are a siren!

    Reply
  62. Aargh! I’ve just returned from a lifetime bucket list trip through Patagonia, only to read your blog post and become fixated on a trip to Portugal! The list is supposed to shorten, not lengthen! You are a siren!

    Reply
  63. Aargh! I’ve just returned from a lifetime bucket list trip through Patagonia, only to read your blog post and become fixated on a trip to Portugal! The list is supposed to shorten, not lengthen! You are a siren!

    Reply
  64. Aargh! I’ve just returned from a lifetime bucket list trip through Patagonia, only to read your blog post and become fixated on a trip to Portugal! The list is supposed to shorten, not lengthen! You are a siren!

    Reply
  65. Aargh! I’ve just returned from a lifetime bucket list trip through Patagonia, only to read your blog post and become fixated on a trip to Portugal! The list is supposed to shorten, not lengthen! You are a siren!

    Reply
  66. Oh, Patagonia must have wonderful, Lenore!
    And LOL on the lengthening List! Actually, I think it’s good to keep adding to it. (How can you ever run out of places you want to experience?) Glad you enjoyed the short glimpse of Portugal. The Sintra-Estoril area really is special.

    Reply
  67. Oh, Patagonia must have wonderful, Lenore!
    And LOL on the lengthening List! Actually, I think it’s good to keep adding to it. (How can you ever run out of places you want to experience?) Glad you enjoyed the short glimpse of Portugal. The Sintra-Estoril area really is special.

    Reply
  68. Oh, Patagonia must have wonderful, Lenore!
    And LOL on the lengthening List! Actually, I think it’s good to keep adding to it. (How can you ever run out of places you want to experience?) Glad you enjoyed the short glimpse of Portugal. The Sintra-Estoril area really is special.

    Reply
  69. Oh, Patagonia must have wonderful, Lenore!
    And LOL on the lengthening List! Actually, I think it’s good to keep adding to it. (How can you ever run out of places you want to experience?) Glad you enjoyed the short glimpse of Portugal. The Sintra-Estoril area really is special.

    Reply
  70. Oh, Patagonia must have wonderful, Lenore!
    And LOL on the lengthening List! Actually, I think it’s good to keep adding to it. (How can you ever run out of places you want to experience?) Glad you enjoyed the short glimpse of Portugal. The Sintra-Estoril area really is special.

    Reply

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