Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Days in Lisbon - Touring Tuesday

In true family fashion, our days in Lisbon were spent walking (and walking, and walking).  Check out my previous post to see some of the great tiles on our walks.  Lisbon is made up of four districts, of which three are close together.  The fourth (Belém) was a bit farther out of the way, and we did not get over there.  

Barrio Alto

This area was our home base; it is full of quiet streets and cafes & bars.  We soon realized that the hill can be found all over the city.

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara gave us a view back to the scene of the hill.

The kids became experts at finding charming details everywhere.  

Baxia & Avendia

The Baxia & Avendia district are the flashy architectural show offs of Lisbon, and I'm not complaining.  We crossed over the pedestrian street Rua Augusta to see the Arco da Rua framing the statue of José I at the end.  Of course we stopped in our tracks and walked with the masses.  
As we started to walk down Rua Augusta, a cruise ship passed by the arch which provided a splendid perspective.

We had to see where that ship was headed, and it was well rewarded to the square, Praça do Comércio.  This is the former site of the Royal Palace, but now it is home to government offices.  Long, long ago royalty would arrive to Lisbon at this very spot.  Down the river a bit we spied a bridge that reminded us of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  A little research told us it's called the 25 de Abril.  The name is a little unconventional, but it refers back to an overthrow of the government in 1974.  It was constructed by the same people who built the Oakland Bay Bridge.

 I give huge credit to the city of Lisbon for the their elevator system.  Sometimes the hills were just too daunting to climb.  The wood paneled Elevador de Santa Justa provided a beautiful ride up to the Barrio Alto.   

Travel Tip! We waited in line to ride the elevator to the top.  Upon arrival up to the Barrio Alto, we observed that the line to ride down was nonexistent.  I think you could even get onto the main viewing platform at the top without needing a ticket if you chose not to ride.  Additionally there is a spiral staircase to get to the tip top for a separate fee, but we did not partake in that adventure with Youngest Kiddo.  Don't make the same mistake we did by standing in line.  However, some crafty musicians kept us entertained during our wait.  


This is the oldest district of the city; many of the houses are slightly more run down than other parts of the city.  However, the views from this part of town are amazing.  We grabbed some bread, cheese, and charcuterie to have lunch on the patio of the Miradouro da Graça.    

On the back side of this overlook is the Igreja de Graça, which is an old Augustinian Monestary.    

The center point of activity in the Alfama appeared to be the cathedral called the Sé.  It is a huge church at the top of one of the hills.  

Our favorite spot in the Alfama has to be the Miradouro de Santa Luiza.  I think it had a lot to do with the lack of clouds in the sky and the blooming flowers, but when I think of Lisbon that's were I picture first.  To see the city and the River Tagus together was breathtaking.    

Each day the kids were troopers to meander the city of hills and tiles.  I think they were just in it for the daily gelato.  

Gelato hangover

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