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690 bom jesus

Portugal’s Braga... yes, something to brag about

Our group, 24-strong, just about fits into the wooden carriage and I’m wondering how on earth this, with all our collective kilograms, will make it up that steep hillside especially when there’s no electricity to fuel us.

But the Bom Jesus do Monte funicular is a thing of wonder.

Since the 1880s, it has been using a water counter-balancing system, enabling its two cars to grind up and down a track on a wooded slope. There aren’t many funiculars like this still operating in the world (I’d ridden one a few years ago on England’s North Devon coast), and it’s strange to think that good old H2O, rather than conventional modern power, is propelling us upwards, past the vegetation, as the other car rattles by on its way down

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