So our second castle of the day was, in my opinion, a little more fun because instead of going into our designated Spanish speaking and English speaking tour groups, we were allowed time to explore the castle on our own. Marvâo, known as the “Eagle’s Nest,” is a tranquil mountain top village near the border of Portugal and Spain. It’s known for it 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside and is one of Portugal’s most spectacular fortified towns, completely surrounded by giant stone walls dating from the 13th to the 17th centuries. At some parts, the walls are nearly 10 feet thick!
The bus dropped us off right outside the archway and we made our way up the narrow cobblestone paths, lined on each side with whitewashed walls and small doors. I called them hobbit doors, but since hobbit doors have to be round, my friend and I settled on dwarf doors.
We wandered through the archways and open spaces, fearlessly climbing the stone steps up to the tops of the walls. It was absolutely incredible! Not to mention the views. On one side, you could see Spain and the other, Lisbon. We even managed to see the other castle we had visited earlier.
Wandering around the walls was made even more fun by the impromptu snowballs that flew up at us. Yup, there was snow (at 2,900 ft I wasn’t surprised) and some of our friends thought it would be fun to throw some over the wall. Luckily, I was able to duck them all, guess it’s the quidditch practice? Or maybe just their lack of aiming. All the snowballs sailed over the wall and didn’t hit any of us. It was a lot of fun though, and the surprise attack made it even more fun.
After wandering along the tops of the walls and taking photos on the roofs of some towers, we made our way to the tallest tower. It was absolutely amazing! Although I was scared that I was going to fall to my doom. None of the walls had any safety rails or anything to keep you from falling down into the inner courtyards, even if they had the outer walls to keep you from falling out.
I even spent some time in one of the look-out towers (well I’m supposing that’s what they were since they only had room for one person). They did smell a little funky though, so I don’t advise that you spend a lot of time in there
Afterwards, we went and explored the garden near the base of the castle. Interestingly enough, there were a lot of couples in the garden, which made us feel a little intruding. However the trickling fountain in the center and the hedges as well as the little stray cat distracted us from all the PDA. In fact, we spent quite a while trying to get a photo of the cat (I told you I’m fascinated by anything). My friend Aidan wanted to get a photo of the cat and crept up close, but it ended up attacking him (not too crazy, just pounced on his camera and don’t worry Aidan backed away just in time). I think it was hunting something by the way it’s tail was twitching and it was getting ready to pounce. It was quite cute too 🙂
After that, we headed back to the bus to warm up and to head back to Cáceres. It was overall a very fun place and definitely worth the trip! I really enjoyed climbing and wandering around the wall tops, albeit a little dangerous, was lots of fun. Not to mention the gorgeous views of the landscape. Europe never fails to impress me 🙂
Until next time!