Saturday, October 13, 2007

Castelo de Sao Jorge - Lisbon

A beautiful Saturday was spent exploring Lisbon on foot. We spent nearly two hours at the Castelo de Sao Jorge built upon the highest hill in Lisbon.

Ruins found on the grounds date back to the sixth century B.C., although the castle itself was built in the 10th and 11th centuries by the Moors. From along the walls and the many towers, you can look out over all of Lisbon. There's also a multimedia show that offers a real-time 360-degree view of Lisbon thanks to an optical system invented by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century.

The walk from the castle back to Rossio Square is all downhill through charming streets and alleyways featuring cafes and souvenir shops at ground level and apartment balconies with their full clotheslines up above.

Beware of pickpockets! The same boy - about 10-12 years old - was caught trying to pick pockets on two different trams we were on during the day. There are a lot of tourists hers, and that also translates into plenty of beggars and other "shady" characters. One man discreetly opened a shopping bag while walking past us and offered to sell us a very nice camera (wonder who he had stolen that from), while another man opened his hand with a fist full of drugs saying it was the best stuff around.

No comments: