Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thursday May 7, 2015

A wonderful day in Lisbon that we very nearly missed. 

View of Lisbon from ship's deck

We were sitting in our room enjoying our breakfast and Russell looked at the tour tickets only to discover that we were supposed to be downstairs in the theatre at quarter to nine. It was 9:07! So we both hightailed it to the theater, got a special escort past security and ended up being one of the first couples on the final bus. A near miss for sure.

The city tour was pretty basic and probably not worth the money we spent but at least it was easy and convenient. It consisted of a drive to Belem where we saw the Belem Tower, the Monument to the Discoveries and the St. Jerome Monastery church. 

Belem Tower

As we were one of the final buses to leave this morning it unfortunately meant that we had trouble parking the bus (due to all the other buses already parked) and it meant that the sights were crowded. 

Our first experience with crowds of tourists!

Tomb of Vasco da Gama (it's in there somewhere!)

Lisbon is not really set up well for bus touring. The traffic is bad, the streets are narrow and tight and parking is, as I said, difficult. 

After a brief walking tour of the Alfama area Russell and I broke away from the tour group and went walking on our own. We had a tasty prosciutto and cheese sandwich while sitting in a park and people watching. After lunch, we walked the main commercial street in the Baixia district and headed back to the ship. 

Russell in streets of Alfama district

A most pleasant day made even better by the fact that Russell and I were patient with one another and very much resigned to the fact that we could not possibly see all of Lisbon in one day so why drive ourselves nuts trying to?

Funky pavement -- actually hard to walk on

Observations? Young people seem to dress more conservatively here than young people in America. They like to blame "gypsies" for their pick pocket problem. They (we) love pastry. They value tradition. They are okay with travel by little cars (see below).
Pastries -- we particularly liked the egg custards -- yummy!
Car for one
My unique souvenir -- purchased to prevent thermal melt downs in tour buses with inadequate or non-existent air conditioning! I am just sayin'.

1 comment:

  1. I love Lisbon and am so glad that you were able to visit. It's actually pretty easy to spend a fair bit of time in and around the city - on my last visit I think that Jim and I spent 4 days or so! If you're going to other places in Portugal look for an incredible egg tart called Pastel de Nata. Yummmmie!