Stories have always stimulated the human mind for thousands of years going back to when they originated as oral tradition. We have books, movies, heroes, villains, liars, and social media that spread to tell the latest happenings whether fact or fiction. We dream of magical places to take us away from reality.
Gretel and I found a place right out of a fairy tale in Sintra, Portugal.
Here is the Pena Palace, and no not the place where you BYOB and paint, although this place could have easily come from a coloring book.
Honestly this place was not even on my list to visit when we went to Portugal but thankfully Gretel talked me into it!
In fantasy you can pretend to live different, be different, but keep some characteristics of your original self. Here, we got to pretend we were kids (polite kids) having fun as we explored a Play Castle.
No, we didn’t pretend we had a dog or cook or take out the trash, we were the Royal guests of an enchanted building. Real life couldn’t touch us here for it wasn’t allowed (besides the park ticket & museum fee, that was pretty real).
Gretel was the princess and I the Prince strolled along the walls of our Portuguese kingdom for the day. There was beauty everywhere. The masterful colors, the beautiful architecture, and the smiles of tourists that were also royal for the day.
Being surrounded by colorfully detailed Portuguese tiles overlooking our soon-to-be kingdom.
A realm of no worry and far away from work, studying, bills, or figuring out how to heat this massive building.
Mush stories are built upon themselves, much like the Pena Palace that has had expansions and has been rebuild from a terrible earthquake over a hundred years ago.
After exploring the castle it turns out that there is actually a park that you can hike around, although this forest was not forbidden!
There was another part of the fairy tale that I wanted to see, and they were smaller than I thought but just as magical.
Small towers scattered around the pond towards the bottom of the hill where some more magical creatures could have called home!
Although we did not find any gnomes or fairies, I have no doubt that they were hiding from the tourists.
We knew we weren’t walking all the way back up again so we sat on a bench, watched the koi fish swim around, and then headed for the exit.
Fantasy can mask the worries and struggles in life, but sometimes fantasy falls into the real world to create very happy endings.
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