Alan and I arrived in Lisbon on Friday afternoon (8/12). The whole of Portugal had had horrible cold, wet weather for weeks prior to our arrival but we lucked out. There were a few drops on Friday but otherwise it was beautiful blue sky the whole time we were there. It was very cold (around 10-12 C for most of the day) but very nice… Perfect weather for photography!
Like Rome, Lisbon stretches over seven hills. The core of the city spreads over two hills and the valley in between. On one hill is Chiado and Bairro Alto, known for its bohemian nature, while the other hails the Alfama and the nighbourhood of Graça, the only part of the city that survived the earthquake in 1755. The business district is in the valley in between, the Baixa.
We checked in at our hotel and were ready to hit the streets by 1:30 pm. We walked from our hotel (Residencial Florescente) to the Santa Justa elevator but since the line was too long we decided to walk up to Chiado/Bairro Alto in search of a place for lunch. Being a holiday, most of the more traditional restaurants were closed but after a bit of wandering around, we finally came upon a nice place with a menu do dia for 7,50 euros (starter, main course & drink). I had Bacalhau com nata (Salted cod in cream sauce) and Alan had beef stroganoff. Not bad.
We then walked over to A Brasileira for some coffee and dessert – nice Portuguese custard tarts. The place is supposed to be more expensive than average. Two coffees with milk (garotos) and two custard pies came to a walloping 4.50 euros.
After lunch, we took the tram 28 to its final stop. We waited around a bit, took some pictures of the lovely square at the end, before taking it back to Calçada do Combo, in Bairro Alto.
The view from Rua Sta Catarina of the Tejo river and the statue of Cristo Rei across the bay was beautiful. There’s a nice outdoor cafe up there (from where I took the picture below) that looks a perfect place to be in the summer.
We then walked across the hill to the Mirador da Gloria for a view of the Baixa and the castle. The light was beautiful!!
We walked down the path of the funicular to the hotel, stopping for a Ginginha (cherry licquer).