Portugal
Jardim da Cerca da Graça

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    • Day 21

      Douglas Dices with Disaster

      October 8, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

      Our two days in Porto came to an end all too quickly. We had developed an affinity for the place and would have loved to have spent a little more time enjoying all that it had to offer.

      We had arranged to be collected by taxi at 10.30 for the short drive to the Porto Campanha Train Station. Allan and I were ready early and decided to go for a short final walk to fill in some time. When we found a small coffee shop it seemed like an appropriate place to grab a coffee before the long train ride to Lisbon.

      "Did you realise that no one has lost anything so far on this trip ?", I asked Allan. Even the two small batteries and fitness bracelet that had gone missing in my luggage had somehow reappeared a couple of days ago. When you are changing hotels so regularly it is very easy to misplace small items such as plugs and chargers. But so far we had not lost a thing. Well done us.

      We managed to find and board the train without mishap and soon we were smoothly and silently gliding towards Lisbon at over 200 kph. Although it was not as fast as the 300 kph Grand Vitesse trains of France, it was a far cry from the 80 kph shaking and lurching rattletraps that we call trains in Australia. I wondered why we are so incapable of building this type of train at home.

      The kilometres quickly ticked by and I couldn't help but be glad that it was so much more comfortable than the 5 hour bus trip we had endured two days earlier. We were even served food and drinks by two stewards. The country that flashed by was green and picturesque and the sky had once again reverted to a cloudless blue.

      The train first stopped on the outskirts of Lisbon and a number of passengers got off. I checked the GPS and it told me that we were still 7 km from our hotel, so I assumed that we had not reached the final stop yet. About 5 km further on the train reached the end of the line and our journey was over.

      Douglas and I had been seated in carriage number one, while another 5 members of our group had been seated further back in the train. After Douglas and I managed to exit the train station there was no sign of the other 5 passengers. It became obvious that they had mistakenly jumped off at the earlier station. At least they knew the name of the hotel, so we knew they would be OK.

      Douglas and I climbed into a waiting taxi and made the short trip to our hotel, right in the centre of Lisbon. Just as our taxi pulled up, we were joined by the others who arrived in a couple of other taxis. We all walked the short distance to our hotel, congratulating ourselves on how smoothly the arrangements had gone.

      It was only when we reached the hotel foyer that Douglas's face went white. He had just realised that he had left his backpack on the back seat of the taxi. He immediately ran back to where we had been dropped, but the taxi had disappeared into the Lisbon traffic with his backpack inside. We had no idea of which taxi we had just been in. The only thing we knew was that the driver spoke good English.

      It had only been a few hours earlier that I had been gloating that on one had lost anything on the trip and now Douglas had seemingly lost his entire backpack and contents.

      The only thing we could think of was to ask the hotel for help in tracking down the taxi, but we knew it would be areal "needle in a haystack" search. Douglas decided to try once more and disappeared back up the street. A few minutes later he reappeared with a smile on his face and a backpack in his hand. Apparently the driver had seen the backpack and had come back looking for him. It really was a miracle that could restore our faith in human nature.

      With our items missing tally thus restored to zero, we all checked in to the hotel and then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Lisbon. My initial impressions were very positive and the reasonably priced lunch I enjoyed at 4.30 pm was excellent.

      Later I met Mary and Pam outside the hotel and we were all able to catch up on the events of the past few days. They are the final two group members to arrive from Melbourne and it was good to see that they had already checked into the hotel the previous afternoon.

      It had been a long and eventful day and I was ready for bed.
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    • Off to Lisbon

      March 26, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Our week in Pico da Pedra with Rui and Guadino was wonderful. What kind hosts with big hearts and lots of good information about the island. They have put a lot of effort into creating a welcoming and peaceful BnB/home and you couldn’t ask for a better location to explore the island. The time we spent on the island was fabulous. There are 9 islands in the Azores so if we return, we will want to explore the other ones, starting with three that are close together - Pico, Faial and Sao Jorge.

      We met an interesting young couple from Germany, Silvia and Tadeh who shared many of the same interests as we did. Every morning at breakfast, Rui and the four of us had great discussions about what we had done the day before, previous trips we had taken and what was happening in the world today (i.e. Brexit and Trump). It made breakfasts a pleasure.

      On the day that we left, we packed up our bags and drove 20 minutes to the airport. Loved that! A man from Autocunha Car Rental was there to meet us at 6 a.m. and the return went very smoothly.

      We proceeded to the SATA checkin area and were told that the plane was going to be 7 hours late!!! The big storm that the island had had 2 days ago had affected all the flights so there was a backlog. Seven hours. Ugh. But, the Portuguese attendant came to our rescue. She removed us from the Sata flight and put us on a TAP flight leaving in 20 minutes. Excellent!!!!

      After a 2 hour flight, we arrived in Lisbon at 10 and did a little planning with a coffee in the airport lounge.
      Our apartment wouldn’t be ready until 3 pm but the owner said that we were welcome to leave our bags with her. The taxi ride to the Graça area was €11 and it was glorious warm, spring day.

      Our hostess pointed the way to a traditional Portuguese lunch restaurant where there was a set lunch and lots of noisy neighbours eating lunch with their friends and families. The waiter was pretty funny and we had a good time.

      Just down the street was a barber shop, so Chris got a nice haircut. From there, we wandered - looking at all the graffiti, checking out the shops and restaurants, watching the trolley car as it made its way up the hill, taking in the wonderful views from a city park,and finally we ended up at the gates to the castle. The castle will be on tomorrow’s agenda.

      We have had a full day but still needed to see our apartment and do a quick food shopping.

      Where we are staying is in a perfect neighbourhood for exploring and as a bonus, it is full of character!
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    • Day 3

      Best Seafood in Town

      September 15, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

      Alter Schwede war das geil...

      Wir waren im Ramiro essen. Das Ramiro ist DAS Seafood Restaunt in Lissabon. Okay betrachten wir das Ganze mal nüchtern... Wir mussten eine Wartemarke ziehen und haben über eine Stunde auf einen Tisch gewartet. In dieser Zeit haben wir uns mit Mexicanern und Menschen aus Luxemburg angefreundet. Dann endlich ein Tisch für zwei... Year. Voll der Katzentisch, der Kellner kam und wir bekamen ein I-Pad ja und nun? Keine Ahnung... Die Stimmung im Lokal laut und hektisch. Der Bestellvorgang ein Rätsel.

      Aber dann...

      In unserer Not haben wir uns an den Kellner gewandt. Er erklärte uns in aller Ruhe was zu tun ist und zack bestellten wir eine Flasche Wein, einen Hummer und Giant Tiger King Prawns. Okay soweit so gut. Der Wein kam und unsere Stimmung hellte sich auf. Wir sahen was so an die Nachbartische serviert wurde und unsere Stimmung wurde besser und besser... 😁😁😁😁
      Dann kam der Hummer roh und lebendig. Ich glaube ich hab vor schreck geschriehen. Auf jeden Fall hat mich Patrick komisch angeschaut.😆 Ein riesen Teil lebendig und munter. Aber lecker war er. Mit etwas Unterstützung haben wir ihn auch fachgerecht zerlegt. Als Dessert haben wir das spezial Dessert gewählt und zwar das Steak Sandwich und nen Espresso. Das war er also unser Abendessen.

      Auf jeden Fall, war es das beste was wir seit langem gegessen haben und auch der (mit Abstand) bester Restaurant Besuch. Aber überzeugt euch selbst.

      Ach Mensch das beste fast vergessen... Um die Wartezeit zu verkürzen gab es eine Bier Station. Dort kannte man für kleines Geld, selbständig Bier zapfen...

      Jetzt sind wir satt, angetrunken und glücklich. Gute Nacht bis Morgen 😘
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    • The Castle on the Hill & the Fado Museum

      March 27, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Rick Steves has a really good guidebook for key places in Portugal. His section about Lisbon makes life a lot easier for planning as it includes lots of good tips about where to go and what to do and see. I just tear out 4 or 5 pages from his guide, about an area that we would like to explore and take those with me. Chris uses the Mapme app or google maps app and we are set.

      Yesterday, we went on his “Alfama Stroll and the Castle”, starting at Lisbon’s highest point, Sao Jorge Castle and ending at the Fado Museum near the river in the sailor’s quarter. We went at around 9 a.m. in order to avoid the tour groups. Sometimes, we casually join a group to hear stories or facts about a certain spot.

      The castle gate is a short walk away from our apartment. We walked to the gate and looked around the small town that stands within the walls before buying seniors’ tickets to enter the viewing terrace and the castle proper. There are several places to get great views of Lisbon but it was lovely of the Tejo River from up there. We could see the big April 25th Bridge (somewhat like the Golden Gate Bridge) in the distance.
      We strolled along the ramparts and climbed the towers, while trying to find our apartment building in the streets below. We had left an orange towel on the balcony clothesline.

      The first settlements on this hill date back to the 7th century B.C., but the castle was built in the 11th century when Moors built it to house their army and house their important people during a siege. But then it was taken in 1147 and Portugal’s royalty lived there.

      The little museum on the site had archaeological finds from the 7th centre B.C. to the 18th century.

      The Castle Town just outside the castle is full of cute shops and restaurants. Most of these buildings were built during the Middle Ages for well to do people.

      On the way down to the river, we passed the Largo Santa Luzia. The iconic trolleys stop here as there is a free panoramic view from its terrace with nice music. We popped into a little cafe to have a coffee and delicious natas - maybe the best ones yet!

      We continued walking down, down, down stairs and steep roads to the Alfama area. Lots to see - laundry flapping from wrought iron balconies, birds in cages, flowers, tuktuks, a lady selling 1 euros cups of Jinga to passerbys, artists’ workshops in old building, grafitti, and men in groups smoking and chatting. There are signs everywhere warning people of possible pickpockets. Good reminders. It was a warm and sunny day so we felt good.

      At the bottom of the hill is the Fado Museum. Our friend Donna highly recommended it. Fado - Rick Steves describes it as “wailing fisherwomen’s blues”. I really like it. There are three wall murals on three levels with the faces of three generations of local fado stars. With the audio guide they give you, you can key in the number beside the face you like and listen to the person singing. We could have been there for hours!!!

      Hunger stuck so we asked a shopkeeper if she would recommend a nearby locals’ restaurant. Once again, we had a delicious fish and pork/clam meal with sangria for a good price.

      The walk back up to our apartment wasn’t so bad. Maybe it was because our legs have become used to the exercise we had, climbing the many hills in Sao Miguel. Maybe it was because of the energy provided by the homemade ice cream cone we ate...
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    • A Sunny Day for Walking

      March 29, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      Three days left to go. We had no purpose today except to get out of our apartment and walk around the downtown and the riverside. It was a beautiful day. I put a few towels out to dry on my balcony clothesline which is way, way up (Heaven forbid if I didn’t secure them well!) and off we went.Read more

    • Day 3

      Colori di Lisbona

      March 6, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

      Si sale e ancora si sale, uno dei rooftop migliori di lisbona è sicuramente il Miradouro de Graca, uno spazio verdissimo dove la gente si trova ad ammirare il tramonto, ad ascoltare un pò di musica o più semplicemente per bersi una birra e fare due chiacchereRead more

    • Day 4

      Jardin de cerca da graca

      June 9, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      after the view point we wandered down to this largish green space, the Jardine de circa de grace. the garden around the grace (church).

      Not as manicured as our parks, but lots of people.

      a huge lantana plant spilling over the wall, like 10 feet of it at least.

      The red plant is a coral tree (erythrina crista -galli, native to Brazil, which of course was a portugeuse colony)

      lovely pergola and these kiosks are in all the parks and squares where you can get a snack and coffee (espresso) for very reasonable amounts. they are the starbucks of portugal.....no starbucks here that we have seen :)

      The graffiti walk is going back up to the church, and that is a pic of the same church of grace
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    • Day 8

      Tram 28

      June 7, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      A dodgy weather forecast had us planning for a damp day. After breakfast we headed to Martim Moniz Square to catch tram 28, the iconic Lisbon tram before the queues got too immense. We didn't make the first tram, as we turned down the chance to stand all the way, but the next tram reversed into place soon and off we went, rattling up narrow streets and steep inclines, occasionally obstructed by delivery vans parked on the tracks, traffic cones and road digging. We rode all the way to the end, passing viewpoints and interesting looking districts. At the terminus (a big cemetery) we hopped straight back on another crowded tram, even more packed than the first. This meant I (Jo) had my thigh clamped by a guy bracing himself round each corner. When we got back to the Alfama viewpoint, we hopped off to look for the street art we'd seen on the way up. We wandered back through narrow streets and steps as the rain increased, bobbing in for coffee and pastries, and then to a little supermarket for edible gifts.
      We then decided rather than get back on the tram to walk back. We came across unexpected viewpoints and street art by Vhili, and then back to the hotel to drop off our purchases.
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    • Day 3

      Cafe Kladenstino

      June 15, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      A bar where all the drinks are themed after Portuguese food. Drinks are around 10-12EU. Small space but very cool ambiance, and the drinks are definitely unique. For example I had one drink that contained rice vinegar and another with carrot juice and dill foam. Try it out if you are feeling adventurous.Read more

    • Day 3

      Cafe Klandestino

      March 17, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Depois de ouvirmos o Fado, descemos uma grande escadaria em direcao ao Cafe Klandestino. As escadas eram bem ingrimes e antigas. Nesse dia descobrimos que Café em Portugal significa Bar, e acabei provando o melhor Negroni de Portugal.Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Jardim da Cerca da Graça, Jardim da Cerca da Graca

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