Sunday 24 November 2013

Portugal: The Castle

The Castello de São Jorge towers over Lisbon on a vertiginous hill. The best way to reach it, we found, is on the rickety and famous tram number 28 from the square just over from where we were staying, which squeezes through impossibly narrow streets at a dizzying gradient. It was very rickety and difficult to get a good shot from the tram as it was moving, unfortunately, but there were times where I really could have shoplifted from places on the ride up.

There are a lot of cats at the castle. Clearly they are strays, but one gets the impression that they are looked after by the caretaker. They like to stalk the peacocks, unsuccessfully. I can't imagine they would know what to do with one should they ever catch it.

The castle is a ruin. Apparently it was restored to its Medieval glory in the 1930s.

The views are spectacular and there can be a lot of clambering and peering from the ramparts around the top.

Tutty and I split up to look around and I felt like I was in that scene in Labyrinth, chasing her around - she was constantly on an opposite rampart.

It was originally a Moorish castle, built as a stronghold against crusading armies, but was captured and became the residence of the Portuguese kings.

I spent quite a lot of time trying to capture a shot of this peacock with his tail open, as did a lot of others, but in the end Tutty was getting restless and I was getting annoyed with the woman making peacock noises at him to encourage him, so we left. I do love a good peacock.

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