Those of you who follow this blog know that B.H. is a great believer in walking as a form of transport. I embrace this in theory as well, as a way of really getting a feel for a place, though I have been known to put my foot down (so to speak).
Like the time in Saigon on a walk from downtown to Chinatown, when the air was so humid I could barely inhale it. I had just enough inner strength to raise my hand and holler, T A X I. I might add however that we did revert to walking on the return journey.
The hills of Lisbon were to lead us to many tram rides and many BEAUTIFUL MIRADOUROS, but there were no tram rides on that first morning.
It was time for our obligatory “getting to know you walk”. This particular exploration took us one hour and fifteen minutes and led from our apartment in Graca, one of the oldest neighbourhoods, on the tallest hill, to the Central Placa da Figueira, a mostly downhill route of only two kilometres. I will assume we had breakfast during that time, although there was that little bag shop I discovered …
We felt our first flutterings of love for Lisbon when Airport Staff rushed us through formalities on landing at 2.30 a.m. after a flight delay of 4 hours from Marrakech. No doubt they were as eager to get home to bed as we were. When a taxi driver took us under his wing – offered a (seemingly) good price – and delivered us to our apartment by 3 a.m. we were eternally grateful. He even took the time to ring the doorbell and speak to the apartment owner, to ensure all was O.K. before leaving us. We continually found the people of Lisbon to have our welfare at heart.
The next morning we randomly chose a direction and started exploring Lisbon on foot, shorty afterwards stumbling across our first find, one which was to become our regular breakfast stop, just around the corner in Rua Sapadores.
I guess it was a bakery, or as their sign said a Pastelaria, that also made delicious pastries and good coffee, and even cheaper even than in Spain. B.H. was in heaven and we happily deliberated over pastries while the throngs of locals purchased their daily bread. When successful, we adjourned to the little side bar to devour our chosen pastries and down coffees. Ah! That hit the spot. A quick calculation sadly revealed that we would run out of time to taste the full range.
Our initiation walk transformed those first flutters of love we felt for Lisbon, into a fully fledged holiday romance.
The View from our balcony to the River Tagus. The Rio Tagus is a traveller itself, starting it’s journey 1038 km away in Spain, before eventually gracing Lisbon with it’s presence.
The washing seemed to welcome us.
While most of the buildings wore mellow pastel shades, some begged to differ.
How cute was this welcoming Robot and his little Clown Friend?
With buildings like this on every corner, the camera hardly left my hand.
Hmm. Nice Stairs.
Placa da Figueira (Square of the Fig Tree) in the City Centre, has been an open space since 1949 and is a popular bus and metro stop.
Exploring on Foot is what we do to get a feeling for a city. On our walks in Lisbon, concerned locals had warned us to keep our valuables hidden when at popular touristic sites, and one lady probably saved my life by pulling me out of the way of a turning tram. When I think of Lisbon, I think of our first walk, of the famous Tram 28, of the wonderful views and mostly of the kind hearted Lisbonites.
Budget Travel Tips.
There are FREE WALKING TOURS in most capital cities, and while researching I found this Lisbon tour which sounds amazing. Although the tours are free, a tip is appreciated – even expected.
From the mouths of locals – Make sure your wallet is well hidden. Be especially careful on Tram 28 and crowded tourist venues. Tram 28 is an old fashioned tram that does a round loop through Lisbon, described beautifully by local Filipa Chatillon on MATADOR NETWORK.. You can buy an all day (hop on hop off) 5 Euro ticket at shops, kiosks and subway. Just wait for the next one if it is very crowded.
Click on the link to BUDGET TRAVELERS SANDBOX for Travel Photo Thursday.