A Tour of Lisbon – Part 1. By Mareni Pichler

by Susannah Grant posted on 4 November 2015

Hello Everyone,

I’m pleased to post a blog submission by Mareni Pichler of her recent trip to Lisbon. Mareni has included lots of detail and photos for us so I’m posting over 3 weeks, in 3 parts. Please be sure to log back in next Wednesday to continue with Mareni’s journey.

Thank you, Mareni.

 

This is an account of a wonderful short trip to Lisbon that I took with a friend of mine in early October. As you will notice we enjoyed the cultural and culinary attractions that this great city has to offer. There are many flights on offer from Madrid and it is very easy to get there in just one hour.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Sunrise
Sunrise

I arrive in the evening by TAP and meet my friend Rita (arriving from Luxembourg) already at the luggage area of the airport.

Absolutely recommendable is to buy the Lisbon Card 72 hours (39 EUR). The 72 hours start counting from the first use onwards and you may take any transport (including trains to Cascais) and have a free entrance to practically all museums.

We take the metro to Santa Apolónia station and walk up 200 metres on an incredibly steep street to our Guesthouse in the Rua do Paraiso. We are in the Alfama district and have a fantastic view over the river Tagus. The guesthouse is on the third floor just above a restaurant — a bit loud but a very cosy atmosphere.

It is 9 pm so we just want some tapas and a glass of wine. We go out and find many bars in the Rua dos Remédios with live Fado music. The place we chose is cosy, a bit expensive (for Lisbon) and the wine tastes good. We have a very good dish with bacalhau (cod fish). The charming daughter of the owner sings Fado and two very good guitar players accompany her. It is our first night out and we are happy to be together after a long time. The walk back to the hotel takes only a couple of minutes.

Second day – Wednesday, 7th October 2015

From the hotel I can see the river that is so large that you might mistake it for the sea. The sky is breath taking, just before the sun rises and displays all range of colours from grey blue to dark orange, to yellow.

Military Museum
Military Museum

The next time I look out a huge cruise ship has anchored just opposite. We are looking down on the Santa Apolónia train station, which is in a beautiful light blue classical building. The Military Museum just opposite has a beautiful courtyard with blue azulejos paintings.

We are walking up to the Panteão Nacional near the hotel and the Largo or Campo de Santa Clara, passing by a big church São Vicente de Fora and find the cable car (Eléctrico) Nº 28. We were told that it has one of the nicest routes so we get in and head north up and down for 20 minutes until we get out at Rossio square downtown.

We walk west and come to the Pastelaria Suiça on a beautiful square (with a statue of the king Pedro IV and with two very nice fountains that were given to Lisbon by the City of Paris). This square is officially named Praça D. Pedro IV, but it’s more commonly known as Rossio. Here of course I must taste our first Pastéis de Nata – with a delicious flavour of orange peel (after having tasted five varieties all over town I think they are the best!)

There is a beautiful train station (Rossio station) and the next square, Restauradores (where a big avenue Liberdade with beautiful trees, ends) is also very nice. A lovely art deco building, just a block further is the Elevador da Gloria and we ride up there and come to a beautiful quiet square.

Please remember to come back next Wednesday to continue on Mareni’s journey.