We take our time getting to the castle, but who hasn’t. Everybody’s pre-Roman, when it comes to Castelo de Sao Jorge, built on a mosque, built on a temple, built on the highest cave. Site of siege and occupation, national legend, the royal and the military; urban capstone; survivor of the earthquake of ’55—1755, for you post-Romans—the castle now lets tourists overrun it, the way an old hound might tolerate the frolic of a pup. Today, Lucy and I tour among them, as if finally paying our respects to that fortress from which all Lisbon descends.
we’re paying is €7.50 each to troop behind other tourists up and down and along
battlements, gardens, walls . . . but don’t get me going on the tourists. We’re
willingly in line with them today, for the castelo, as these tourist things go,
is excellent for its views (the best in Lisbon), its deep stone, its 1100 years.
And for its pastries, to tide us over, as we said.
for the first time in its history, the castle becomes an item on the same itinerary
as a café on Rua da Graça, near where I lived in February. See the gates and
towers! Eat the soup! As it turns out, getting from the castle takes a while too, by the time we loop below and have to catch the tram back up and around.