Castelos dos Mouros is the remnants of the castle we explored today built by the Moors around the 9th century. It is part of the UNESCO world heritage site of Sintra on a mountaintop near Lisbon. Sintra also hosts Portugal's royal palace and other cultural and historic siites.
The first hour of the hike up from the train stop at Sintra is steep narrow cobblestone switchbacks through the upper part of the town with lovely rooves, turrets and tiled walls - Women with spiky pumps navigating the steep cobblestones was simply bizzarre. Then it becomes a series of steep paths up to the Castle ruins. Simply unimagineably doing this in battle gear or carrying anything wiithout horses... Kim and the kids walked high above the ruins and stratospheres above Lisbon on the remaining ramparts. I battled my waves of vertigo with some success. Will was wonderful and resolutely refused to leave my side so he could keep me company until Marika and Kim returned, then he ventured off for a bit up on high with Kim.
The highlight of lunch in Sintra was a grilled sandwich Kim had of pear and turkey with a thickened balsamic reduction drizzled on
On the train ride back to Lisbon, Will finished reading his first complete adult novel - "Secret Daughter", by shilpi somaya gowda.
While Kim and the kids were in a shop in the train station I stood outside in the sun - a guy dressed all in black in his mid-30s came up to me and asked if I wanted to buy some drugs - Standing real real big for Lisbon with my dark sunglasses and shaved head I didn't even move my head an inch towards him - I said "Vamoose" in a quick, loud abrupt voice. He hustled away and out of sight really, really fast - Kim thinks he figured I was some undercover guy looking for much bigger fish!
Speaking of fish the only new food at dinner were cod caked as an appetizer.
We head back to Barcelona tomorrow for some Gaudi adventures. Kim and I both feel so completely at ease and home here in Lisbon - in some ways we figure even more so than more familiar places like Vancouver, etc... We hope to see Lisbon and more of Portugal again some day.
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