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Just outside the city is Sintra, a magical place with a hilltop castle, defended for centuries by soldiers armed with swords and bows. On a nearby summit stands a rose-coloured palace that could fit easily into a Walt Disney cartoon. Lower down the slopes is a newer, dignified residence used by the royal families.
On December 29th. we moved from the weather-battered Expo Marina to Alcántara, a harbour nearer the centre of Lisbon. New Year passed in much the same fashion as Christmas with lots of multinational fun and music! \r\n\r\nEarly in January we moved out of the river and back to the coast where we spent a few days in Cascais. This fishing boat was heading for home in Lisbon while we were heading for the Atlantic.
Not much of note happened in Cascais! Malcolm fell from the pontoon into the sea and still hasn't forgiven Anna for grabbing the shopping bag (which floated miraculously) before thinking about lending him a helping hand! \r\n\r\nA sadly unbalanced gentleman, once a highly respected engineer, came to sing for us every day. He caroused us (probably just Anna really) with everything from opera to The Beatles. When the heavens opened, he put up his umbrella and "I'm singing in the rain" reverberated around the harbour, with one or two Gene Kelly moves thrown in for good measure. \r\n\r\nWhen the south-westerly wind finally blew itself out and a breeze sprang up from the north, we sailed back out into the Atlantic (Jan. 13th) and headed south for Lagos on the Algarve coast of Portugal. We motored into the marina there some 24 hours later. The wind died in the night but there is something magical about sailing by starlight, watching the moon rise over a calm and tranquil sea. So what if there is no wind - we are not in a hurry.