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This is not a stepwell (the rest of Sintra)

Less Bats, more BAM!

On our daytrip to Sintra, after waving goodbye to Pena Palace, we headed down the road to The Castle of the Moors; a medieval (8-9th century) castle plonked on the top of a nearby hill.

The journey from palace to castle was absolutely oozing (fluffing?) with mossy boulders, to my great delight.

The little tiny step-turrets complete with skull and crossbones also did not hurt the vibe!

There wasn’t really much to do at the Castle itself, except for puff our way up stairs and take in the magnificent views.

But that seemed like enough.

And if, like me, you are highly interested in looking like a mighty and Powerful King, then may I suggest some light posing?:

Dominant pose: A+

Overall vibe: angry bird

From the castle, we headed down a simple path back to the city.

Except that someone who is very confident on his ‘leading’ skills got us very lost and we had to backtrack quite a bit.

It is unclear to me if this was just a kind of stunt to make me do extra cardio.

Nonetheless, we got to make our way through some pretty nice greenery (mossess and lichens and ferns, oh my!)….

… around a dog that I’m pretty sure was trying to trip me….

And underneath some people who were bizarrely choosing to go upwards instead of the much more gravity-friendly ‘down’:

There was a brief stop at a throne.


A bit more journeying.

And an appropriate surplus of mushrooms.

All very pretty.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that we were well into the pm hours, and knew we had to first get back to Lisbon and pick up our stuff, and then make it by train to Porto, in order to meet our late-but-not-that-late dinner reservation.

So we were in full ZOOM mode by this stage.

And so we raced through Quinta da Regaleira to make it to the famous 88 foot deep Initiation Well that ws built for secret ceremonial purposes!!!

Very cool!

Plus you exit into some underground cave tunnels!

Having made our repective sacrifices to respective gods, we rushed on out…

Out of the Quinta da Regaleira.. and then… well to be honest right into an Uber. Because we realised that it would cost us only 20 euros to get all the way back to our hotel (+ save us about an hour).

Sometimes I worry that dating Sameer is making me too Posh, just like him.


We grabbed our stuff, and hopped into another Uber, with a driver who drove insanely to get us to the trainstation in time. We then ran to the ticket office where the officer told us about 20 times to chill out, and made it to the platform with plenty of time.

Big shout out again to Santiago Calatrava, who is now my favorite architect.

See also NYC, and Toronto.

Sameer spent the train ride doing what I can only assume was deliberately getting as many peanut shells on the floor as possible, while I sat demurely and was very pleasant and adored by all who met me.

Then, we arrived in Porto, and quickly joined a cult.

More specifically, the Culto Ao Bacalhau- Cult of Cod.

It’s kind of a big deal in Portugal.

We had some octopus salad, and some drowned-in-olive-oil-but-somehow-not-too-heavy?-baked cod, both of which were highly delicious. That was followed by a cod-chocolate tart (I’m not kidding), and yet another Portuguese desserts that was really not trying very hard to not be just egg yolks. (This one had at least attempted a shape change).

And that was that.

We walked to our hotel via some very cool street art, and begun two days in Porto.

Feb 17, 2024

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