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June 7th 2011
Published: June 7th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

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 top.

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.

Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16


Tower in SintraTower in Sintra
Tower in Sintra

Sintra is a wealthy enclave - no surprise hosting the royal palace - lots of great architecture.
Pena CastlePena Castle
Pena Castle

From the Catelos dos Mouros
Towel bunkersTowel bunkers
Towel bunkers

Will and Marika bury themselves in towels when a cloud comes by
Cherubs and cherubsCherubs and cherubs
Cherubs and cherubs

Marika and Will by a tiled wall in the Sintra train station.
Sintra statuesSintra statues
Sintra statues

The road from the train station to the town was a series of statues commissioned for a major art festival later this summer.
Rock bugsRock bugs
Rock bugs

Marika scales a major rock while Will waits up top.

10th June 2011

I'm loving all your tales of your adventures, and I have to say that you're really making me want to go to Lisbon! The photos are fantastic -- I especially love the castle ones! Hugs to you all, can't wait to hear more.

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