The European rain forest?
Last week I visited family in Sintra, close to Lisbon (Portugal)
Apart from visiting (flooded) Lisbon itself we spent quite some time in the NP of Sintra – Cascais.
Here you find a super wet Mediterranean forest landscape, unique in the world. It reminded me a lot of the beauty full and well known Foret d’Issaux in the French Pyrenees.
The UNESCO classified a large part of the area as a World Heritage Landscape and the European Union placed it under the “Habitats Directive” as a Site of Community Importance (SIC) within the Natura 2000 network.
Ocean view over Cascais National Park
and their residents (Black redstart taken with 200mm)
Gorgeous forests in Cascais NP
The air is so humid, that ferns grow on the trees here. Amazing
Pena Palace is a Romanticist castle in Sao Pedro de Penaferrim. It is a national monument and constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. The palace is a UNESCO world heritage Site.
For a long time, I have been wanting to visit the Lisbon aquarium. One of the biggest and nicest aquaria in Europe. Amazing to see hundreds of kids, getting their first contact with marine life and the protection of our marine environments. I really believe in the educational role of this place. No seal shows, no dolphins, but good ecological info on the worlds oceans.
But I really suck at city tripping… so rather quickly I ended up in the Cascais NP again…
Everywhere one can find old monuments and relics of the past.
Great places for landscape photographers and urbex fans. Like this old chapel…
Quite a lot of caves as well:
The coolest underground place for me is the Quinta de Regaleira.
While thousands of tourists flock to the castle every year to admire the unique architecture that combines Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish and Renaissance features, one of its most fascinating features is located beneath the ground – a pair of wells spiralling deep underground. The wells were never used, nor intended for water collection. Instead, these mysterious underground towers were used for secretive initiation rites.
The above image is junk. So we stayed until dark and took another approach to the same image: LIGHT IT UP
Enough culture I reckon, now back to nature!
Thanks to Wannes and Celeste, for the hospitality!