Lisboa, Portugal

Lisbon Travel Blog

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final approach into Lisbon.
It was late when we arrived but early enough to check out the nightlife of Lisbon and heard that Bairro alto was the place to be. At one point we were standing in the back of a crowded bar when it suddently became quiet. Then we heard the soft sounds of a guitar and a male voice starting to sing. Our first experience with Fado.
Of course we didn't understand a single word but luckily there was a Dutch guy standing next to us who lived in Lisbon and was nice enough to translate for us. A very sad but beautiful melody. And exceptional way to end our evening and begin my first visit to Portugal.

The next morning was exactly what I expected from Portugal...blue skies and a warm breeze.

First stop was to the Castle of Sao Jorge (Castle of Saint George) which is located on the highest hill of the historic part of the city.
view from Castle of Saint George photo 1
The oldest parts can be dated back to about the 6th century. It provided a great view of the city.
Leading down from the castle are small narrow streets winding through the old quarters of the city. Some of the buildings are in poor shape while others are covered with beautiful century old tiles. It was like walking though an art gallery.

Then it was time for lunch and some window shopping in Baixa (downtown). It was such a big contrast from the old quarters. This part of the city was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1755 and was one of Europe's first example in neoclassical design. Despite the wide boulevards (many pedestrians only) lined with shops and cafes, the charm of the city can be seen with the appearance of street vendors and occassional tramcars as well as the tiled facades of the boutiques. I could have spent the whole day just sitting and watching people go merrily on their way.
city view 2

But I had a mission. On my list of things to see was the Tower of Belem and according to the map, it would take some time walking.
The Tower of Belem was built in the 16th century as a gateway to Lisbon and part of the defense system to the river and the Jeronimos Monastery both placed on the UNESCO world heritage list in 1983.
And it is here, close to the western portal, where one can see the tombs of Luis de Camoes (1527-1570) and Vasco da Gama (1467-1523). Being a big history buff, this was pretty exciting to me.
Dinner was in Cascais which is a coastal town about 30 km west of Lisbon and is very popular for beach goers. We took a taxi there and the train back. The train trip is inexpensive, takes about 30 minutes and probably the most convenient way to travel between the two. A 'nice to know' for the next time....and there will be a next time.





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final approach into Lisbon.
final approach into Lisbon.
view from Castle of Saint George p…
view from Castle of Saint George …
city view 2
city view 2
city view 3
city view 3
inscription of Castle of Saint Geo…
inscription of Castle of Saint Ge…
Tower of Belem
Tower of Belem
Tower view 2
Tower view 2
view of 25 Abril Bridge from the T…
view of 25 Abril Bridge from the …
in the shadow of...
in the shadow of...
looking across theTagus River
looking across theTagus River
Crenelated tower with Manueline de…
Crenelated tower with Manueline d…
Manueline decorations
Manueline decorations
inscription of the Tower of Belem
inscription of the Tower of Belem
inscription of the Jeronimos Monas…
inscription of the Jeronimos Mona…
the main chapel
the main chapel
inscription of Vasco da Gama
inscription of Vasco da Gama
interior view towards the main cha…
interior view towards the main ch…
tomb of Vasco da Gama
tomb of Vasco da Gama
exterior view of the monastery
exterior view of the monastery
exterior view 2
exterior view 2
Discoveries Monument
Discoveries Monument
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Lisbon
photo by: Johnpro