23.1.05

Sempre a subir!


First of all, let me apologise for this late posting. I have had a lot of trouble getting access to an internet linked computer. Normally I am able to use Charles's, and then there is always the one in my office; however, Charles has lots of work on, and is hogging his machine, while, for some reason, the internet wasn't working at my office. Anyway... that's today's story, which will have to wait because this image is for yesterday (Sunday). I can proudly announce that I was up and out the door before 10am. I was on the Sintra train by 11am, and I was in Sintra by lunchtime. Straight off the train, I walked round to the Palácio Nacional before heading straight up to the Castelo dos Mouros. It was one helluva climb, let me tell you: although it is not much higher than the summit of Auchterhouse, it is very much steeper. Still, it was worth it, for not only did I burn a few calories, I was rewarded with a stupendous view. This is not the first time I have been to the Castelo dos Mouros. I was there in 1994, when I was very much fitter than I am now - back in those days, Portugal was still 'quaint', and there was no visitor centre, and no entrance fee (there was also no cold drink machine). I can't really recall, but I'm sure there was no tourist bus either - but I may be wrong: I walked up. I spent a wonderful three hours in the castle, and took lots and lots of photographs (which I will post when I get back to Dundee). The descent was much harder than the climb - just ask my poor knees. I made it all the way down in one piece, and stopped in a small restaurant for a late-lunch/early-supper of bacalhau com natas. Duly fed and watered, I headed off for a stroll through two of Sintra's many public gardens, before getting on the train back to Lisbon. It was a pleasant day, which would have been perfect had Linda and Liam been here to share it with me. Ah well, maybe the next time!

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