Castles, Trains and Trolleys

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April 9th 2018
Published: April 10th 2018
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Monday is sun day!! Taking advantage of this window of beautiful weather, the four of us headed out early. First thing, try the subway, which turned out to be a wonderful experience. Although, above ground, the stairwells are a bit seedy with heavy graffiti and litter, downstairs is immaculate. Clean, well marked platforms and quiet cars, made us want to use the metro system more. Next public transport...the trolley. Easier said than done since everyone in Lisbon had the same idea. After waiting in a line for 30ish minutes, we finally boarded the 12E tram up the hill to the Castle of St George (Castelo do Sao Jorge). Crowded and bumpy, the ancient car wound its way through the narrow streets, barely missing walls and parked cars. Yikes!

The castle is amazing! Located in the Alfama neighborhood, it stands high on the hill overlooking, not only the city of Lisbon, but the rivers and bridges to the west and south. Built by the Visigoths and then rebuilt by the Moors, this hilltop has been protecting Portugal since the 2nd century BC. It was great to wander along the ramparts, doing our best Game of Thrones interpretations. Makes you think: a) how short were these guys? and 2) how did your clothes dry in that damp castle? We really enjoyed the peacocks strutting their stuff in the courtyards.

Lunch in a local cafe was delicious. Always fun to see the kitchen, across the street from the dining area, passing food thru a window and the waitstaff running back and forth. Our waitress was great. After the bill was settled, she brought us all a shot of Ginjanha (cherry liqueur) which we toasted to her, of course. After shopping and wandering around for a while, we decided to head home. Gluttons for punishment, we boarded another trolley. Sadly, no seats for us. Standing in the trolley was not bad on a short trip but a bit difficult on a longer journey. We hopped off in the Estrela neighborhood and Ubered home.

Errands. Home made dinner. Chatting. Early bed. Tomorrow, off to the Algarve, in the south, on Tuesday for a couple days.

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10th April 2018

The Castle was my first overseas sight-seeing adventure. When I went, some 45+ years ago, all the animals there were albino, including the peacocks. Magical. So glad you enjoyed the day.
10th April 2018

Beautiful. Enjoying you blog so much.

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