Mum and I really enjoyed our first trip to Portugal a couple of weeks ago, I came back with so many beautiful postcards of tiles as inspiration for quilt designs and some beautifully wrapped fish. Sardines are a big feature of Portuguese cuisine and there were tins of fish for sale everywhere.
I could have bought loads of these as they were in all of the gift shops and I love the vintage designs.
The city was lovely with lots of beautiful buildings, many art deco in style and the best railway station I have ever seen, the bottom two pictures in this mosaic.
The tiles on the postcards below come from the many tiled buildings that are in the city, some amazing pattern inspiration, if you want to see more look at this link.
I have framed this beautiful postcard and put it in my kitchen, lovely windows!
The main reason for choosing Portugal for our trip was a blog post last year from Gillian Travis , one of my favourite textile artists, who had visited Sintra, an area where the Portuguese royal family had their winter retreat and built lots of wonderful palaces. She has made some lovely journal quilts based on her trip including one with sardine tins, pictures at the bottom of this post.
Sadly my camera malfunctioned while we were away and though I thought I had taken lots of gorgeous pictures they were all corrupted so have had to resort to finding others from the internet to show you the wonderful Pena Palace that we visited on my birthday.
I love bizarre palaces, we visited Neuschwanstein a few years ago and this is similar in its wonderful over the top architecture, this time with a Moorish influence.The whole area is so beautiful with rocky outcrops amongst the trees and views out to sea.
I love this picture of it in the clouds, it looks like something from an epic film like a Lord of the Rings movie, amazing to think that this was actually built on the site of an original monastery as a family home.
We had a brilliant day exploring the palace and the beautiful grounds topped off by a ride down from the palace in a jeep which was very exciting! We had bought round trip bus tickets but the queues were really long for the return bus and there were lots of vehicles dropping people off at the palace and offering return trips. We narrowly missed getting a tuk tuk but were very happy with a cool ride down in the jeep.
We ended the day with a drinks on the terrace of a bar overlooking Lisbon and tapas at a very cute little place where we were the only customers, possibly something to do with the fact that Portugal were playing Germany in the Euro 16.Happily they won so we came back to the hotel accompanied by the cheers and honking horns of a lot of very happy Portuguese. A very memorable day!
We also visited an a great art museum and some found some absolutely amazing cloisters in the monastery, even better than Laycock Abbey so I will be posting pictures of those soon.
Take care and thanks for visiting.