Princess Stays In A Castle

Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
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135
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Trip End Oct 06, 2013


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Flag of Portugal  , Estremadura,
Thursday, January 31, 2013

Since we gave up our homestead in Tottenham, DH, aka She-Who-Must-be-Obeyed, aka The Princess, has been without a castle. And given that royalty without a castle for any significant length of time tend to start wars with everyone around them, it was just about time to find an abode more in keeping with her imagined royal status. Obidos Castle crowns the town of Obidos and now houses guests of a certain pedigree (or at least anyone willing to pay their high rates) in its luxurious rooms, so it was time for a splurge.

First remarked upon for its beauty by the 13th century Queen Isabel de Aragon, Obidos was presented to her as a gift by her romantically inclined husband, King Dinis, and thereafter it has been offered by princes (and romantically inclined backpackers like me) to their brides. In past times, however, this was a formidable medieval fortification. It was won back from the Moors in 1148 by the king and his men, apparently disguised as cherry trees (and quite frankly, if you're beaten by a bunch of guys disguised as cherry trees, you have no business occupying a castle). Not too surprisingly Obidos is now famed for a local tipple, Ginginha, a sweet brandy liqueur made with local cherries.

As you walk along the top circumference of the walled city of Obidos, it’s not hard to picture a bustling medieval village contained within- narrow cobblestone streets and alleyways lined with colorful homes and Gothic doorways. It’s such a perfect example of a medieval fortified village and castle that it’s almost cartoonish. Shortly after driving into the city as directed by our malfunctioning GPS unit, we discovered that most right thinking people park outside the walls and walk the narrow roads- without many vehicles, I could, as directed by DH, leisurely wander the complex shopping for a gleaming suit of armour and a noble white stallion.

While maintaining a vigilant watch for any cherry trees that might be moving, we had a great time imagining ourselves as part of a bygone era. My armour suit was starting to chaff however so it was time to head for Lisbon.
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