Strolling around Lisbon
Lisbon Travel Blog› entry 2 of 8 › view all entries
July 1st, 2008 – by: Jeroenadmiraal
It takes about half an hour by train to reach Lisbon from Cascais, and during that half an hour the temperature would always rise a few degrees. Similarly, returning to Cascais, the temperature would drop (it is always a bit windy in Cascais).
I arrived from the coast (proximo paragem: Cais do Sodre), and so began my exploration from the big important-looking square, next to the shore. Here you can find all sorts of government buildings to the sides and the gateway to the central street in front of you, luring you deeper inside the city.
I succumbed to the temptation and entered the gate to Lisbon! It was blisteringly hot by now. The sun shone heavily on me and Lisbon's central street is remarkably devoid of shade! it is a really crowded street and there is not much to do. What is this street doing here anyway? Another thing that immediately became apparent is that Lisbon is rather overrun by cars. It is an orderly, but hectic city.
Walk a few hundred meters and on your left you will find one of the two famous old elevators of the city (Santa Justa's Elevador), designed by a student of Mr. Eiffel. And as you would expect, these are iron elevators. You see, Lisbon is built on seven hills, where every hill of valley is a separate neighborhood. Sometimes these hills can be very steep, so the rich and the tourists can admire and use two monumental elevators to get on top.
Exit the elevator and you enter the Bairro Alto neighborhood, where you can shop till you drop and eat at lunchrooms. Immediately to your right, there is a cathedral that has lost its roof during an earthquake (Convento do Carmo). It is fun walking between those pillars in the sun, and they have unearthed a few mummies!
No time to rest! One of the definitive highlights of Lisbon is the city's castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge), in the Castelo neighborhood (where else). We already had a glimpse of it from the elevator. Walk the cobbled and twisting streets upward in search for the entrance. on our way we passed the famous Se Cathedral. Not that impressive actually. It is a very solemn affair and quite small inside. The big castle, though, gives you a great view over the city, while you can rest under the green trees.
My verdict: Lisbon is a great city! I will be back tomorrow.
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