Lisbon is such a destination that I have had on my list for a long time and then suddenly you see a few cheap airline tickets pass by, after which the knot is cut quickly; two days or 48 hours Lisbon.
It is December when we drive to Eindhoven Airport early in the morning from where at 8.00 am our plane takes off on time. After a quiet flight we descend over Portugal through the clouds, catching a first glimpse of the Ponto de 25. Avril over the Tagus and descend further over the center to land quite a bit at the airport Aeroporto de Lisboa. The plane stops at terminal 2 from where we are taken directly to terminal 1 by buses.
It has rained but it is now dry and the sun is even threatening to break through. We take a taxi but given the many traffic lights and the hustle and bustle of the traffic we had better dive near the main entrance into the metro, but well. Our taxi driver hardly speaks English. She brings us for a very reasonable price to the large roundabout at the Praça do Marquês de Pombal. When we get off, we feel the first rays of the sun.
First we take some pictures of the statue of Marquês de Pombal after which we walk into the atmospheric Avenida de Liberdade. Beautiful trees, classical paving and many sculptures adorn the wide pedestrian boulevard.
Arriving at the Praça dos Restauradores we turn left to the R. das Portas de Santo Antão on the beautiful square Praça Dom Pedro IV. As said, beautiful statues. The city is really full of it. The rich colonial past has apparently left behind many heroes and they all deserve to be immortalized in the Portuguese capital. We sit down on a terrace which is miraculously occupied by almost only Dutch people. Eat a bite in this low part of the city called Baixa.
Baixa is the low-lying part of the city that was completely destroyed during the earthquake in 1755 and has now been rebuilt with a tight rectangular streets structure.
Left and right of Baixa are 2 higher parts of the city. On the east side the picturesque Alfama with the Castelo de S. Jorge and on the west side Alto Bairro with the larger buildings. Our hotel is located in Alto Bairro, so first we have to check in to dump our backpack.
Via the Praça dos Restauradores with near the station we walk to the Calçada da Glória where a tram goes steeply up. Halfway through the climb, the tram crosses with an oncoming car, after which it ends at the park Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.
Here you can enjoy views of the city and view of the castle.
We pass some buildings whose façades are completely tiled in typical Portuguese style and arrive at the beautiful Praça Luis de Camões square near the hotel.
We dump our bags in the stylish PH in Chiado hotel, after which we quickly set off again; after all, it gets dark early so the sightseeing round has to be at 17.30.
We turn left into the Rua Horta Seca until the Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo. This is another typical Lisbon street, where little tramps drive up the people of the lower part. These little trams are specially designed for the angle of inclination.
We look for a nice location to take a pictures and wait until the tram starts to drive from both sides. We do not take the tram ourselves but walk down to the Rua de S. Paolo. Because of the time and low costs we keep a taxi standing and let us take us to the western part of Belém. We drive under the imposing suspension bridge that we want to visit in detail tomorrow.
Arriving in Belém we stroll along the waterfront. We take some pictures of the bridge and the old warehouse which has now been transformed into a museum ‘Maat’. Then we drag further west and pass through the grievous Terreiro das Missas massagre. This will soon be converted into a hip city beach.
Past the harbor we arrive at the Monument of the Discoveries in which the shipping past is commemorated. As is often the case with this type of sightseeing, it is almost completely turned in a buildingsite.
We eat and drink something in the sun, the jacket can even go out and we go on the road again. Tour Belém is the next attraction in this district. This beautiful building in the water used to be the last point where the ships could be swept out. Many a tear will be left.
From the Tour Belém we cross the road and walk back until we reach the Jeronimos Monastery.
It is a beautiful building but we can not go inside and smell the famous Patiés de Belém further on. Just walking along the botanical garden we arrive at this restaurant with the famous pastries. People are literally in line. Inside, however, there appears to be enough room to sit quietly and enjoy the pasties. You can catch a glimpse of the baking process yourself. However, the recipe is secret.
When we get outside again, it has become dark by now. We take the tram and get off at the Sodré station. First a beer in a pub and then, after a short climb we get in the hotel again.
Just a short refresher round and then back into the city. In the Alto Biarra there would be quite a few places to go out and restaurants so gonna have a look there. We indeed see enough restaurants but making a choice is difficult. It is very quiet in the city and you won’t be the first customer of hte night. Eventually we choose a fuller restaurant, aimed at providing tourists with live fado music.
In Portugal you have to eat fish, so that’s what I order. However, the fish was still full of fish bones and a lot of garlic. The live performance is a bit overwhelmed by the noisy tourists but it still sound good. After dinner we dive into an Irish pub to simply drink uncomplicated beers.