On a weekend trip back home to Lisbon, my dad and I decided to drive up to Sintra to visit a particular monument that people usually miss, since it’s nestled between several other major ones – Palacio da Pena, Quinta da Regaleira, Castelo dos Mouros and Convento dos Capuchos to name a few. This one is very small and, as most small monuments in the forest are, it’s also incredibly pretty. It’s called the Chalet da Condessa – translated roughly, The Countess’s Chalet. It was a little house that King Ferdinand (yes, the crazy one who actually lived in the Palacio da Pena, which is conveniently a small walk away) had built for his lover, an noble-blooded opera singer with the title The Countess of Edla. The whole story is quite romantic and captivating – no cheating involved, this happened after the death of the King’s first wife and Elise Hensler, the Countess of Edla, became his second wife.
I didn’t have time to visit the garden, and this time I really regretted not taking coloured film – but do google up the photographs of the Chalet. It’s a bright yellow, by the way. The particular thing about it is that the whole of the exterior decorations, from the window and door frames to the balcony outside, are made entirely out of unrefined cork. Inside, since it was quite dark and I didn’t manage to take many pictures, the hallways and staircases are painted in bright colours and very well-made trompe l’oeil, making a whole wall, for example, seem like it is made of an intricate pattern cut in wood.
I hope to go back and properly see the garden at some point. Brownie points to whoever spots my dad first in the pictures.
Oh, by the way? Our major joke whenever we visit the region is the big tiled 19th century sign saying “PENA”, referring obviously to the park and the palace… It’s also my dad’s and mine’s last name.
Sorry for the blurry photographs but it was way too dark inside for 100ISO film and… well, I kind of needed to show you what it looks like (sort of).
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m considering shutting down this website so any visibility or feedback I could receive would be helpful. So, if you’re feeling nice and friendly, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram and also click that little like button on the Facebook page for the blog. I’d really appreciate it because I’m starting to feel like giving up on posting pictures and just keeping them to myself… If you’d like to talk film or digital photography with me (or offer me a job!) I’m also 100% up for it.
Hey, maybe one day I can do this for a living! That would really be something.