local architecture, Sintra
While the climate is described as Mediterranean, the low cloud descends the mountain, there is quite an eerie feel when walking the narrow streets and lanes. The rainy times are in autumn and spring but generally sunny from April to October.
While sitting enjoying our lunch under the trees in the heart of Sintra, I glanced sideways and was immediately intrigued by this scene. The peeling paint was interesting in itself, with its shadows, but the blue tiled building behind was very hard to ignore!
The practise of using decorative building tiles dates back over 1000 years in Portugal - a carry-over from the hundreds of years of Moorish occupation. I found that I really enjoyed seeing buildings enhanced in this way as we travelled around the various parts of the country. This building was a bit unusual with its fully tiled walls instead of just some decorative sections.
From a purely practical point of view, if I was a home handyman, I think I would vote for those maintenance-free tiles over the paint!
On the weekends the people of Lisbon, Cascais and the towns in the area all come to Sintra for a family day and for the coolness of the hills. If you can plan your trip on a weekday.
You will see many Portuguese families just walking around and sitting drinking coffee as well as having dome of the local pastries that Sintra is famous for. Try the Sintra cake.
In addition to the decorative enjoyment of the tiled house, I also was amused by the nice flower arrangement growing from the roof of the next-door building!
You're in Portugal, so you'll see plenty of beautiful azulejos like this one I saw in the neighborhood just above the National Palace.
You'll see plenty of Moorish influences on Sintra as well as touches of Mudejar, Renaissance and other architectural styles.