When planning a trip things that seem a good idea often aren't. The trip from Sintra to Obidos (pronounced like Oh my gosh, only Oh be gosh) is a good example. Sintra is a small town near Lisbon. Obidos is an even smaller town 2 hours north of Sintra and with little public transportation that I didn't take into consideration. The hotel in Sintra gave me one set of directions and the ticket master at the train station in Sintra gave me another. My mistake was in combining the directions, resulting in me traveling back and for on the train and a near tearful meltdown at one of the larger train stations. I finally made it to Obidos, 2 hours later than planned, only to find myself alone in the late afternoon in the middle of nowhere. No taxis, no buses, no passenger cars. Not even a single person in sight! I can see the castle, my destination, on top of the hill and start walking uphill...dragging my suitcase on the side of the desolate road. The part of the castle wall I can see is at the opposite end of the wall where the hotel is. I finally make it to the part of the castle wall where there is on opening, where the hotel is only to find I still have to walk up hill through the walled city along the cobbled, deserted streets to the hotel entrance. Needless to say, I'm exhausted, out of breath, sweaty, and feeling pretty ridiculous (angrily frustrated!) checking into this out-of-season but up-scale place where I'm sure few arrive on foot. They told me I should have called and they would have sent a taxi. Most people don't bother to come here unless they have a rental car.
But it is pretty amazing. This medieval castle has a complete wall all the way around. A little scary. I walked a portion of the wall just before dark. There is no inner railing or wall, and it is all several stores above ground, and all is ancient, rough stone pathways. I hope to walk the circumference in the morning. Bet I sleep well tonight!
History: This is a previous Roman fortification. A stronghold of the Moors. In 1148 after a two month siege, Afonso Henriques, who became the first king of Portugal, stormed the castle and took if from the Moors. Many kings lived here. King Dinis's wife Queen Isabel liked the town so much he gave it to her as a gift and after that it was known as the 'house of Queens' until 1834.