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    • Day 47

      Figueira to Lisbon

      October 16, 2015 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      We rented a car to make the roughly 200 km ride to our home for the next 7 days, Lisbon. I got a nasty surprise when I dropped the little Fiat off to the Europcar concession in Lisbon as the one-way charge cost more than the actual rental charge. I had booked the car through a third party provider, AutoEurope, for what I thought was an all inclusive price that had the drop off fee built in. I apparently didn't read the fine print. Oh well, I won't make that mistake again.

      In any event, we took the slow scenic route down the coast and were treated to incredible vistas as we drove south. We stopped for lunch at about the half way point in the resort town of Nazare, and to check out their highly reputed scenery. We were not disappointed. When we drove into town, the Google Maps app brought us straight to the scenic lookout that towers over the town 360 meters below. Unlike Figueiro, the beach here had plenty of people strolling along the sand and even a few brave souls paddleboarding in the frigid water.

      After taking in the views from above, we drove down to sea level and were equally as impressed by the beauty of the cliff we had just been standing upon. We followed some locals into a cafeteria style restaurant and had (what else ?) a delicious bowl of vegetable soup and some rice and beans for lunch.

      The rest of the journey was less spectacular as we used the highway to bring us in to Lisbon. Once we arrived, after a week in sleepy Figueira, I was unprepared for the narrow one way streets crowded with pedestrians and autos alike. Fortunately, the Portuguese are, for the most part, very courteous drivers, so my hesitant, and sometimes bad driving was tolerated.

      We arrived at our apartment a little after 3:00 and were greeted by the owner, Tomas, who is a most gracious and helpful host.

      After we settled in, I wanted to drop Brenda's bike off to a local Dahon dealer to repair the damage caused by the accident and then return the rental car. Of course, by this time we were approaching rush hour and traffic was a nightmare. Add in the hilly, winding, narrow one-way streets, traffic cops forbidding me to turn left at certain intersections and, after 45 minutes of utter frustration, I cried Uncle, gave up on the bike shop and headed straight to the rental agency to get rid of the car.

      We walked back to the bike shop to have the repairs done and from there wandered the streets of Lisbon to scope out the territory.

      It's a beautiful city and we're looking forward to exploring it thoroughly. I must say that I didn't think anywhere could be hillier than Porto, but I couldn't have been more wrong. With all this climbing I have a feeling that we'll be leaving Portugal with buns of steel.
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    • Day 4

      Jet lag day!

      February 20, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

      Not much happening today...jet lag! Beautiful, sunny day. Had our breakfast on the patio listening to the seagulls down in the swimming pool. Quick trip to the store and a nice, long nap. Isn't life great? The photo was taken 2 years ago. There are wonderful rock formations and grottos where you can take a boat trip within walking distance from our apartment.. On our list of things to do!Read more

    • Day 2

      Lagos, Portugal.

      February 18, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

      Finally arrived after 27 hours on the road. The trip was pretty uneventful. Arrived Lisbon around 6:15 am, huge lineup at passport control, but our bags arrived without delay and we caught a cab to the train station without any problem. Caught the train and 3 1/2 hours later, we arrived in Lagos. Literally planes, trains and automobiles! Rental car was waiting at the train station. A real plain jane, but meets our needs. Gorgeous weather awaited us. Sunny, warm and a fabulous sea breeze. The apartment we rented way exceeds expectations. Nothing fancy, but everything we need and very clean. 2 bed 2 bath with large terrace, a sea view (and a washing machine)! Now, were off for a trip to the grocery for supplies then I imagine sitting on the terrace with our feet up and adult beverages in hand. Stay tuned.Read more

    • Day 7

      Rossio square - lisbon

      June 12, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      That is the national theatre, on the site of an old palace

      the sta justa elevator going up to the Bario Alto

      looking up another side street, see the flight of stairs, that heads up to the Bario Alto. We were there yesterday not at the very top of those stairs, but just midpoint when we were looking for the carmelittes church. we headed back up the street as we had gone down too far.Read more

    • Day 7

      Rossio Square - lisbon

      June 12, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Rossio Square, lots of interesting views from the square. You can see the ruins of the Convento de Carmello up in the Bario Alta on the hill, and the castle on the other side in the Alfama.

      I loved the purple hotel that was renovated on the one side of the square, SW corner? Some buildins were renovated, others tiled and others in disrepear with the roofs growing things out of them..... much like Havana, but not so much actually crumbling.

      We continued up the R. Augusta till it meets with Rossio square. A big open square with 2 fountains and a large statue in the centre. Lots of wave tilings.
      • Because of its elongated shape, and long use it is believed this was a roman racetrack 2,000 years ago. These days it is cars
      • The colonnaded national theater is at the far end. American fast food chains (colin went to the MacDonalds to use the bathroom)
      • The column in the square honors Pedro IV king of Portugal and emperor of Brazil
      • The square once held a palace that functioned as the headquarters of the inquisition. It was demolished and in an attempt to erase its memory, the national theatre was built in its place.
      • You can see the Convento de Carmo
      • And the Elevador de Santa Justa
      • You can also catch glimpses of the castle on the other side of the valley
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    • Day 7

      Good bye to Portugal , next stop Madrid

      September 22, 2017 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      Checked out of our fantastic air bnb around noon and took one last look around. We went back into Sao Bento train station, easily the most gorgeous train station ever. Beautiful tile mosaics on the walls and high arched ceilings. We bought a sandwich and some fruit and walked back over the bridge to Gaia and sat in the park overlooking the Douro river with Porto on the other side. Such a beautiful sunny day. We brought along our 2 unfinished bottles of wine and ate our lunch in the park. Drinking wine right out of the bottle is perfectly acceptable and we were hardly alone . 😊 What a fantastic way to end our stay in Portugal. Sadly we made our way to the airport by metro and are awaiting our plane to our next stop ... Madrid Spain 🇪🇸Read more

    • Day 5

      Miradoura Sao Petro

      June 14, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Der Aussichtspunkt São Pedro de Alcântara in Lissabon befindet sich am oberen Ende der Route der 'Glória Funicular', in der Nähe von einem der Eingänge zum Bairro Alto.
      Er ist eingebettet in einer historischen Gartenanlage mit Brunnen, Statuen und Blumenbeeten.Read more

    • Day 6

      Miradoura de Sao Pedro de alcantara -lis

      June 11, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      This was a very busy "touristy" lookout. as we were wandering along the street en route (Dom Pedro V) it was getting more upscale. Lots of boutiques, trendier restaurants and a lot busier. the view was magnificent, and you look acrros to the Castle de Jorge and the Church Graca that we were at on Sunday.

      One of the food venders was selling a rice dish for 12 euro.....they were interesting as they had the food in a huge 3 foot diameter pan and it looked yummy but that is pretty pricy when you cosier we get 6 sardines for 5 euro the other night.

      From Eyewittness:
      The Belvedere (miradura) commands a sweeping view of eastern lisbon, seen across the Baisa. A tiled map plased against the balustrade helps you locate the landmarks in the city(not there, but they were doing construction). The panorama extends from the battlements of the Castelo de Sao Jorge clearly seen surrounded by trees on the hill to the South east, to the 18th century church of Penha de Franca in the northwest. The large monastery complex of the Igreja da Graca (that was where we were at on Sunday) is also visible on the hill, and in the distance Sao Vincent de Fora (we were also there, it had the Dolores booth in front of it) is recognizable by they symmetrical towers that flank its white facade.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Mártires, Martires

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