601 – Central Town: Lisbon Day 1

601 – Wednesday 18th January 2017: Central Lisbon

Wednesday morning, rush-hour – we set off in our hired car from the campsite to explore central Lisbon – tales of horrendous traffic and impossible parking ringing in our ears…. Well, the traffic was benign and we had no trouble getting into a downtown underground car park – so far so good.  First impressions – the architecture is (that word again) stunning and varied. Wide boulevards and lovely squares or ‘Pracas’.  The weather was (by our recent standards) freezing cold and windy – but complete sunshine surrounded us – in the sun it was ok but in the shade and breeze – definitely brass monkey weather!  The team resolved to wear more clothing layers tomorrow…  Oscar will wear his usual outfit.  

Praca Do Comercio – huge area of lovely pavement and impressive public buildings – spot Alison in one photo…  This architecture would do Paris proud – and any other major European city that we have seen…  Cafe Brasileira twice for coffee and cakes – where the intelligence used to hang out … The Elevator de Santa Justa is not justa lift – it’s a stairway to heaven – the interior could be Art Deco hotel style.  If it’s not – it should be a Grade 1listed structure.  The photos show the views from the top better than any text.  

Everyone says that Tram 28 is a must – no dogs allowed so Alison and I set sail and K did Osarcare across town to meet us at the end at Estrella.  The tram gobbled up the hills – a la San Francisco – we haven’t been there but Alison has. A memorable ride indeed. At the terminus, Alison went nuts!  Well, the roasted kind…. My nuts were truly frozen by now…

With roasted and frozen nuts, we managed a stand  up Ninja – well – Ginjihna – a cherry shot which soon warmed our cockles – not nuts!

A first amazing day in Lisboa – many more to come…     

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Black and white marble pavements everywhere.

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A momument to the Battles against the Spanish in the War of the Restoration in 1640 in front of an art Deco Theatre at Praca dos Restaurdores.

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Rossio, also known as Praca dom Pedro IV. It has been the site of bull fights, festivals and military parades.  Dom Pedro was the first emperor of independent Brazil.

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 Praca do Comercio:  locally known as Terrier do Paco (Palace Square), as this huge open air space was the site of a main royal palace until flattened during the 1755 earth quake.  The Palace built in 1511 and 70,000 books were destroyed. The new palace surronded the square but after the revolution became it was converted into Government Offices. This dramatic square on the River Tagus is the central point of the city where dignitaries would alight and then ride through the arch …

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the triumphal arch.  The mounted horseman is King Jose 1 erected in 1775.  This is there square where King Carlos and his heir were assassinated in February 1908 … we saw his bedroom in the Vila Vicosa Ducal Palace, left as he left it that fated morning.  For many years this square was used as a car park!!!

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Lisbon in built on 7 hills.  Consequently there are numerous funicular railways and some elevators.  This is perhaps the most famous – the Elevator de Santa Justa.  It was built at the start of the C20 by an apprentice of Eiffel.  It is a wonderful structure sandwiched between buildings, made of iron embellished with filigree.

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The interior of the elevator is wood and brass.

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It takes you up to the Bairro Alto district with amazing viewpoints.  This one is back to Praca dom Pedro.

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It really was a long way up!

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The black and white hand cut tiles in Praca dom Pedro IV were the first such designs in the city, laid in the mid C19.

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The ruins of the Carmelite Church.  As the congregation were saying mass the 1755 earthquake shockwaves caused the roof to collapse.  Part of it has been restored and is now an archaeological museum.

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Looking back towards the Triumphal Arch and the Tagus.

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Alison and James took the ‘roller coaster’ Tram 28 ride.  Dogs not allowed, so I walked with Oscar and met them in Estrella.

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Alison’s nuts!  An appetiser before lunch in the gardens at Estrella.  There is a huge Basilica there, which Queen Maria promised to have built if she bore the King an heir.  She must have done something wrong as the heir died 2 years before the basilica was completed.

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We walked back through Bairro Alte.  This district was first inhabited by the rich who left the disreputable Alfama district.  These houses were along the street from the ….

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 seat of the Government.

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Alison getting a free tow from Oscar up a hill!

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Joining the locals for a quick stand up Ginjinha (sour cherry shot) before driving home to Jez.


4 thoughts on “601 – Central Town: Lisbon Day 1

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