Monday, September 22, 2008

"This is the happiest day of my life..."

Well, it was a great day but I wouldn't go that far. So said Richard Strauss when he first visited Sintra in Portugal, and I recently had that pleasure with my friends Patricia and Don who live near by.

"This is the happiest day of my life. I have traveled to Italy, Sicily, Greece and Egypt, but I have never, ever seen anything which is equal to Pena (the Castle). It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. This is the garden of Klingsor - and there, up above is the castle of the Holy Grail."
Richard Strauss

Ever since earliest times, the Serra de Sintra has been magical territory. Roman geographers such as Varro and Columella described it as a "Sacred Mountain." I have to agree, I felt like a child lost in the wonder of a magical place. A fairytale with hidden paths leading in many directions, castles, caves and tunnels, natural beauty and man made.