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    • Day 4

      Castelo de São Jorge

      April 7 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

      Today we thought we would do what we always try to do in any major city, a Hop On Hop Off bus tour. But at the last second said, let’s just go to the castle. We got an early start and grabbed a Bolt (Portugal Uber) to drive the steep winding streets (barely large enough for a vehicle) to the top of the hill. The driver finally stopped a couple of blocks from the top and said, “you’re on foot from here”.

      An early start turned out to be a great decision as we walked right up to the ticket window, got our senior discount and were some of the first people in.

      We both agreed this was the best castle we had ever been to. It was surrounded by huge trees and wide walks of beautiful verandas and great views of the city. The castle grounds are beautiful and home to colorful (loud) peacocks that are not intimidated by the crowds. Once we wandered inside the walls we were treated to full access to walk through the interior courtyards and around the perimeter fortifications. The shear amount of stonework was amazing and beautiful.

      After our tour we exited the castle grounds and headed down the ancient streets of Lisbon and walked the path of the Camino for a few blocks. What a great start to the day!
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    • Day 6

      Alfama Afternoon!!

      August 10, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Alright, sunscreen is now on, ready to go! So I mentioned Alfama in my previous post but it is an original city in Portugal dating back to the 11th century! All the streets are cobblestone and SUPER narrow with steep stairs. Very beautiful because it is higher in elevation. And peak at the classic Portugese building made out of tiles! Took a peak at the Lisbon Cathedral, Church of São Vicente de Fora, and many more squares. It was amazing how many squares there were with monumental statues in the center! Amazing day with great weather.Read more

    • Day 16

      Lisbon, Monday

      May 16, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Last day in NYC yesterday the 1,5.23
      Spent it at the MET.
      Taxi to the airport was late and the traffic very heavy, but we got to Newark Airport in time; our 2045 flight departed late!
      The United flight was only 6 hours, (over night). It’s rather nice to have 10 hours lopped out of the time. A
      Tad weird though as we had the same routine on the plane except the ‘sleep’ was about 2 hours! Food truly disgusting! Munro luggage very late arriving, despite it being ‘priority’! Hotel Lisboa Plaza is nice, so we should enjoy the stay. (Eke promises that the breakfasts are amazing, the time runs from 0700 - 1200). We had a two hour sleep then a three hour walk around Lisbon with our guide. He was excellent, so we learnt heaps. Solar Bacalhau restaurant was chosen for dinner where SOME of us tried the salted cod in various forms! Very nice food. Great to get ‘real food’ after a week of variable results in NY. Great meeting up with Anton & Eke!
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    • Day 21

      Magnifique Lisbonne

      September 30, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Après une nuit difficile avec notre petit Félix fiévreux, nous prenons ça relaxe. En fait Félix dort plus tard, il se réveille à 11h30! Il en avait bien besoin faut croire! Sam et Nic écoutent le Roi Lion sur son cell et on fait un brin de ménage plus tard en attendant le réveil du petit malade. À son réveil, il était tout sourire et sans fièvre! On se fait à dîner et plus tard on part pour explorer le quartier historique de Lisbonne.

      Un gros 30-40 minutes de taxi plus tard, on débarque à 2 coins de rue du château de São Jorge. C'est un château fortifié bâti au XI siècle, qui surplombe la ville du haut de sa colline. Le château en soi est bien préservé et impressionnant, mais c'est surtout la vue qu'on a de la terrasse qui nous en met plein la vue. De ces hauteurs, on a une vue panoramique incroyable de toute la ville. Vraiment chouette!

      Ensuite on se perd un peu dans les rues du quartier Alfama, en mangeant une pasteles de Bacalao, la fameuse latte de poisson frite et farcie au fromage. On y avait déjà goûté, mais c'est toujours bon comme attrape-touristes! On poursuit notre chemin vers le port en passant par l'imposante cathédrale de Sé. La ville nous rappelle San Francisco vu que tout est en pente et qu'il y a des tramways, mais en plus ancien bien entendu! On prend un verre dans le port où il y a de l'ambiance et une vibe plutôt festives, ça crinque un peu avant d'aller se chercher quelque chose pour souper.

      On n'a pas vu l'après-midi passer, faut dire que notre journée a débuté plus tard que prévu. C'était vraiment une belle journée sous le soleil de Lisbonne. On ne prévoit pas rester plus longtemps dans cette ville, mais définitivement, on pourrait y passer 4-5 jours sans s'ennuyer!
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    • Day 4

      Food-Tour durch Lissabon

      March 25 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Uf Empfehlig hämmer eus ä Food-Tour gönnt, nöd schwer eus vo so öppisem müässe z überzüüge. 🤭🙈
      Ässe wie d Locals das tüänd, mit villnä spannende Gschichtä und humorvolle Anekdotä däzue.
      Mir händ Glück gha und sind nöd ganz so fest verrägnet wordä.
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    • Day 28

      More Lisbon

      May 21, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

      I just couldn't do justice to Lisbon in a single post. So here are some more images.
      The oldest neighborhood in Lisbon is the Alfama. This is the neighborhood least affected by the 1755 earthquake, and was not significantly rebuilt. This is where you can see what old Lisbon looked like. The 1st 4 pictures are all Alfama. 1st is a look over the neighborhood of hilly, twisting, colorful streets. Then a couple streets and a small plaza typical of Alfama. The patron saint of Lisbon is Saint Anthony whose day is 13 June. (NB, St. Anthony of Lisbon and St. Anthony of Padua are the same guy.) I'm told that the celebration here runs for the whole month. The decorations in the pictures are now being put up for that celebration. Unfortunately, I leave the day before it all begins.
      The 5th picture is the Casa de Bicos which means house of spikes, named for its unusual facade. The house that dates to the 16th century, is in the Alfama, and survived the earthquake. Today it's the headquarters of the José Saramago Foundation. Saramago, who was the 1998 Nobel Laureate in Literature, established the foundation.
      Lisbon has a number of "color" streets that are dining and entertainment streets. The 6th picture is the blue street.
      Lisbon has some incredible street art. The last picture is one example in the Graça neighborhood not far from where I was staying.
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    • Day 4

      Museen sehen

      August 22, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Nach einem etwas späteren Start in den Tag geht es wieder in die Innenstadt.
      Lio und Chipo begeben sich in das "Museum of Ajube - Resistance and Freedom", welches sich mit der Zeitspanne 1918 - heute auseinandersetzt.

      Am Nachmittag folgt noch das "Lisbon Story Centre" - die Geschichte Lissabons von seiner Entstehung bis zum heutigen Tag.

      Umrahmt wird dieser lehrreiche Tag von "Potato Project" (Pommes in den schönsten Variationen) und kühlen Drinks.

      Den Abend lassen wir bei Nudeln und Spiele in der Unterkunft ausklingen.
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    • Day 2

      Wunderschöner Ausblick!

      October 1, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Bevor wir in die Burg, bzw. besser gesagt auf die Burgmauern sind, haben wir einen Rundgang entlang der Burg gemacht. Da die Burg so deutlich oberhalb der Stadt liegt, hat man hier einen grandiosen Blick! Hier sind wir dann nochmal eine Zeit lang verweilt, nicht um auszuruhen, sondern einfach nur zum genießen.Read more

    • Day 1

      ‘Your mother was a hamster..’

      April 30, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      I toured a medieval fort and castle. I mean…like in Monty Python and Camelot, and Princess Bride, and The Court Jester. Only flippin’ real. I’m not gonna lie, I gasped when I saw it. It was astounding.

      Castelo de S. Jorge was founded by the Arabs in 11th century. Phoenicians and Romans lived there early on. The original building was an Islamic fort high on a hill. Strategic advantage? Check! Until those dang Crusaders showed up, conquered it, and then topped it with their own defensive gewgaws. It housed kings and governors, and is now a national monument.

      The striations of each civilization are visible in the architecture. Low down, construction is of rough-hewn stone cobbled together in thick globs of friable mortar. The next layer features bricks fitted closely with thin lines of a sturdier paste. And then more modern touches - plaster, and from modern times, protective plastic covering over ages old iron in windows. There are red bricks all about, looking like a decades long patch project. Got a hole there, Bob? Stick a brick in it!

      Walking here is a reflection on human ingenuity. The battlements you see in the movies make so much sense in reality. Everywhere, on every level, are high places from which to hide and shoot, or throw, or pour stuff that kills unwanted guests. It’s clear that the inhabitants climbed higher ( and for that matter built higher) to escape danger. The fortress even features a kill alley as the last, literal avenue of defense. The only way marauders were getting to those within and above was down a corridor lined with fortified, higher ground positions. Brilliant.

      I imagined following someone through the many cobbled avenues from level to level. There is a sense of how the community worked, if you let your mind see it. Water and sewer and lovely courtyards and market stalls - its all clear. They even carved rivulets in roof tiles to aid water runoff. As I meandered, I could sense where people lived and how they went about their days.. I imagined some child delivering goods from the lower courtyards, getting away from the ‘burbs’ and hoping for a glimpse of a fine lady. And the soldiers must have been fleet footed to zip up the slim stairs to the ramparts and along the walls.

      It was an unforgettable morning. I’ll never watch a medieval movie again without an eye toward whether they got the sets right. I have a newfound respect for the centuries of ingenuity that went into our civilizations.
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    • Day 10

      Mondays in Lisbon

      April 3, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      Turns out, Mondays are not the best in Lisbon. As most attractions are open every day of the week, they chose Monday as their off day, making it an interesting day to plan. We started the day having pasteis de natas from two different places (to compare, of course) and then wandering from Rossio Square to Praca do Comercio, and looking at all the shops. We then went on a Tuk Tuk tour through the Alfama district with our great driver Andres, who loved taking our picture everywhere, which we greatly appreciated. After a siesta in the afternoon, we went to a Fran Clan classic: Hard Rock Cafe!!Read more

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