Castle of the Moors was built in the 8th century by you guessed it the Moors, There is a huge Moors influence in Portugal. It was conquered by King Alfonso in 1031 and has been a Christian stronghold ever since. It was harmed in the 1755 earthquake and one thing Portugal does a great job of is taking care of their history. Sintra and the Castle of the Moors have been designated as UNESCO Sites.
We hopped on the 434 bus for 6.50 euros each which took you to both sites. The first stop was the train station where Jim and I were shocked at how many people there were piling off the trains from Lisbon and waiting to get on the bus. We hopped off at the Castle of the Moors with about 8 other people while the rest of the bus went on to the Pena Palace.
What a great decision that was. We walked up to the ticket booth and bought tickets for both places. Easy peasy. Walked through the gate and off our adventure into the 8th century started.
A popular refrain of mine as Jim and I have started travelling has been. Oh my goodness can you imagine this place in June/July (high season). Even today, there were times when you had to wait to get into different turrets and squeeze past people on the ramparts. In June and July it would basically be wall to wall people along the walkways.
Being right on the top of a mound/hill, when you faced the Atlantic it was cold and windy and grey, when you looked towards Lisbon it was sunny and warm. As we walked up and down the ramparts of the Castle of the Moors in Sintra, my sweater was off and on every time we changed direction. If you ever get to live in a castle with a room facing the Atlantic don’t take it.
Smartest thing I did this trip was pack my walking poles. Portugal doesn’t worry about being sued, so there are very few railings. The walking sticks are great for balance when you go up and down the stairs. Considering the past generations were supposed to be shorter than us, they must have had tall legs, as the steps are quite high.
As you can tell from all the flags, it was a wee bit windy today. The castle had a clear view right to the Atlantic so when Sigurd 1 from Norway came for a visit, the castle could see them for miles.
5000 steps up and down stairs to walk the perimeter of the castle. Onward to Pena Palace. Instead of waiting for the bus there were lots of Tuk-Tuks waiting (basically a cute little golf cart), Jim talked them down to 7 euros and off we went to our next adventure.
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