Updated: Oct 23, 2021
The Portuguese Flag Flies Over Castelo de S. Jorge (St. George Castle). (Photo by Sona Schmidt-Harris)
It seems both a long and short time since we arrived in Lisbon a little over a week ago. I have to remind myself that the last long overseas trip we took was seven years ago. It is amazing what changes in seven years. Deke’s health for one, and my fading middle age for another.
Though energy and years pass us by, we didn’t want to let an opportunity to take a tour of the city pass by. Our tour guide, Bruno, picked us up in the afternoon. First stop, Castelo de S. Jorge (St. George Castle).
The gateway to Castelo de S. Jorge (St. George Castle). (Photo by Sona Schmidt-Harris)
St. George Castle was conquered by the Portuguese in the 1100s. At that time, the castle was occupied by the Moors. According to Wikipedia, there were remnants of civilization there as early as the 8th Century BC. Apparently, there was a functioning society within the walls of the castle.
There was a functioning society within the walls of the castle. (Photo by Sona Schmidt-Harris)
Numerous olive trees dot the plaza, and I wondered how old they are. There are stunning views of the city, and Bruno said the best views. It is impressive, whether looking at the ocean, rooftops, bridge, or Christus statue (apparently, a replica of the one in San Paulo, Brazil).
Web of trees on the castle plaza overlooking Lisbon. (Photo by Sona Schmidt-Harris).
It is a thrill to think of how many people have walked where I walked for centuries. I felt fortunate just to touch my feet there. Lisbon still has flowers and trees in bloom, though some of them are on the fading end. It is like a joyous weeping when the trees shed their blossoms, and this included the grounds of the castle. In Lisbon, there are not many signs of autumn as we know it in the United States.
Lisbon still has flowers and trees in bloom, though some of them are on the fading end. It is like a joyous weeping when the trees shed their blossoms, and this included the grounds of the castle. (Photos by Sona Schmidt-Harris)
There appeared to be tourists from all over the world, and as always, Americans like me thrown into the mix. While I was climbing an especially steep staircase in the castle, I heard one of my “favorite” American tourist sayings to date, “Shit! This is classy as hell!” It seemed that the delivery sort of negated the sentiment, but oh well. Also “enlightening” was, “What a stupid way to build a staircase,” perhaps forgetting the technological know-how of the time.
An ancient archway overlooks Lisbon. (Photo by Sona Schmidt-Harris)
The city and tourism sites are busier than usual for October because Portugal has been closed off for months because of the Pandemic. I am just happy to be among the bustling, curious, and for the most part, happy crowd.