Accompanied Alfred Tennyson and Crauford Grove to Portugal. His account of this fornight were published in a magazine called 'Under the Crown', 1868.
Cintra, Aug. 23. — Three hours' drive over a fair road brought us under the noble Sierra of Cintra — a triple wave of insulated hill, which runs out for some seven miles as a headland into the Atlantic above Colares. On the authority of Byron and Beckford we had expected a region little touched by man, but rich in the decoration of nature — myrtle and orange groves scattered over rocks which were to overhang the sea. But an hour's walk at evening showed us that we were in what might be best called a larger Malvern in Portugal. . . . Here and there the stone- pine or cork-tree spoke of the South ; else the many well-appointed inhabitants we met, polite parties sauntering and smiling, or riding in easy style, might have made us think we had come to Cintra to find the Bois de Boulogne. . . .
Aug. 24. — To-day we climbed the Rock of Cintra by a long path between splintered granite and pine-trees, and fringed with geranium and wild flowers, to the other castle above the town. . . . Here, as elsewhere, we noticed that the quantity, not the specific character of flowers, is the main difference between the gardens of England and Portugal. . . .
Colares. — But our most characteristic and interesting excursion was to the sea-coast below Colares, a village famous for vines, and once for wine, three miles westward of Cintra. . . . Winding through the apple gardens of the Varsea and by a shallow stream, the road passes out between hedges of aloe and bamboo, to die away at last in a wide sandy plain, which, like the sea-forest by Ravenna, is covered with innumerable pines. We thought we had never seen colours so vivid as where, ranged along an undulating ridge, the flat tops of the trees, dark below, blazing green above, stand like tables of malachite set in the wilderness, all beneath the pale translucent aether, deepening upwards in intensity from the horizon. . . .