For the first time ever I had the privilege to have the company of Manfred for more than just a couple of days. He is my 2 1/2 year old grandson. Together with his parents he came down and stayed with us for Christmas and New Year.
Just spending time with him was hilarious. The humor and wisdom you get from these small human beings put things in perspective and makes you rethink what you do and find important.
For instance: Why all this planning?
Like the day I invited him for a parent free tour of Lisbon: First Castello, Then the tram to downtown (of course with a pitstop for a Pasteis de Nata) and to the boat to the other site of the river to climb the statue of Christ. Then the boat back (and a stop for an Ice Creme and a diaper check) and slowly back up to Tings via the playground in Jardim da Cerca da Graça.
I could as well have flushed this plan in the toilet before leaving home. Once we entered Castelo de São Jorge and Manfred saw this paradise, he got lost in his own fairytale and fantasy world. Canons to play with, birds everywhere, towers to climb, fountains with cold running water, peacocks, ice-cream shops and Temple Knights.
But the biggest thrill of them all was the view! We counted cranes, watched the boats crossing the river, the monuments and all the colored roofs and rooftop terraces.
The I realised that the best plan for a day with a 2 1/2 year old kid is NO PLAN AT ALL.
We ended up spending 2h30 at the castle and another 2h at the fountains at Rossio and Martim Moniz doing absolutely nothing but being present.
So if you’re traveling with a kid and want to explore Portugal by car – make sure you have a castle close by.
Enjoy them all,
Last year I stumbled upon a story about the 16 most wondrous castles around the world according to Atlas Obscura’s readers.
Ever since my first visit to Carcasonne in France back in the 70’ies I have been a big fan of castles and have tried to vist them all whenever I get a chance.
I have seen a lot! Still its only 3 of Atlas Obscura’s 16 castles I could ✓. So 13 to go 🙂
It was a surprise to find only Tomar from Portugal on the list – i fidn it a bid boring. What about my personal favorite Guimarães? Or Castello São Jorges just opposite our Miradouro?
We have castles everywhere!
So I decided to list and map the 50 most impressive ones.
Going Castle hunting is a fantastic way to ‘tour’ Portugal by car – especially with kids.
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