This morning, we meant to go see the castle first thing…but first we had to renew our transportation cards. But all the cash we had was in 20 euro bills, and the machine wouldn’t accept more than 10 euros at a time. So we first invaded a little pastry shop for the most delicious way possible to get change.
I’ve seen this pastry around frequently, so air decided to try it. It’s called chocolate salami, and you can see why. It’s made from chocolate and crushed maria cookies; but it’s surprisingly light and I think I’m going to crave more for the next several months. Definitely worth the detour!
Then we were finally off to storm the castle! We were told this was a difficult walk up the hill as well, but we didn’t have too much trouble with it.
There is only one part of the castle that still has a roof (that 1755 earthquake again!) so most of the building looks like this. The walls and some of the towers are still standing strong though, so we were able to walk almost the entire castle anyway.
The castle is an active archeological research site though so part of it was blocked off for scientists to work. There are ruins here from the royal palace (1500s), the Moors (700-1100s), and even the Iron Age (300-600s)! This photo shows the foundation of a building that stood during the Moorish Age.
The view across the castle from one of the towers.
Time for some lunch at the castle café…and we have a visitor! There are a number of peacocks wandering the grounds, we’re guessing since they were kept by Portuguese royalty and there was a royal palace here at one time. Whatever the reason, they’re pretty fun to see!