The castle at Alcácer do Sal

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(I took the scenic (i.e. scary) route to the castle)

We’re still at the campsite with the great washing machine and I finally went to see the castle. It’s not really a castle, just the ruins of the walls of a castle with little chapels and a former convent which is now a Pousada (fancy hotel) inside the walls. When they were turning the ruins of the convent into the hotel they excavated the area and now there’s a museum under the hotel.

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(Nice view from the top)

First up there was a video presentation (in English) about the area. Just in case I didn’t make it clear we arrived here by accident, someone posted a nice review about the campsite and the washing machine and here we are. But there’s something a bit different about this place and that’s what i learned watching the video… there’s been people living here in this town since 3,000 years BC.

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(It’s a very cute town)

That means the people walking down the street, the people we meet in the supermarket, the people serving our coffee, their families have been living here for the past 5,017 years (approximately.) Ok some of them may have moved here more recently than that (the Romans 2200 years ago, the Moors, 1200 years ago, they built the castle, the christian armies on a crusade 900 years ago) but there’s been people living here in this small town for a long time. I think that makes it very interesting.

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(I love this piece, can you see the skull near the clasp?)

After the video I went into the crypt part of the museum, it’s not very big but it’s really nicely arranged with plenty of exhibits. My favourites were the beads and the sewing tools – scissors and pins. I also liked the jewellery. There were also remnants of walls from the Iron Age, the Roman period and the Islamic period. It made me wonder what would survive from our house, from our stuff in 900, or 2000 year time…. probably the plastic storage boxes!

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Step 15. Less junk, less storage, Mairead.