Every second Sunday of the month the craft market rolls into Sintra, occupying a stretch of pavement along Volta do Duche, the road which connects Sintra’s historic centre with the more modern Estafania.
The market is a great place to sample Portugal’s home made crafts, ranging from wood carvings of the nativity to hand knitted purses, doylies, miniature dolls houses and leather accessories.
Given Portugal’s financial climate the craft market seems like a reasonable response; an opportunity for locals to share their handy work with the public and make a few extra euros as they go – profit from personal endeavour.
Stall owners are very keen to talk and air their opinions on just about anything, or to show you their skills in action, some whittling away the hours while other knit. There is something quite special about the market that goes way beyond the cute home made, cottage industry feel it exudes – community.
There is a feeling of hope and humanity amongst the ruins of Portugal’s ailing economy, that people’s enterprise will lift them out of the gloom imposed by an infallible government, despite them causing the mess the country finds itself in.
Perhaps the local government at Sintra is wising up to the need for economic stability and by allowing the market to take place they are inviting tourist euros into their coffers; a shrewd move in so many ways, mixing culture and tradition with money making is the smart way forward.
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