Archive for the ‘Se de Lisboa’ Tag

Winter Break in Lisbon – Castelo de Sao Jorge   17 comments

After a somewhat cloudy first day, we awoke on our second day to this view across the square from the apartment. Not too shabby a day.


First stop was the Castelo de Sao Jorge, one of Lisbon’s best known sites. Stopping off at the Mirador above on the walk up.


The entrance to the castle has a large terrace with shady trees from which there are spectacular views across the city, the Tagus river and the famous suspension bridge the Pont 25 de Abril.


A zoom shot of the Elevador de Santa Justa that we walked past the day before.


And the Se de Lisboa cathedral


We took a moment to sit in the warm sun and for me and TJS to enjoy a second breakfast. Pastel de Nata is the local pastry, a custard tart made with flaky pastry and they are gorgeous. This one was warm from the oven and was the best we had. To say me and TJS were obsessed with them was an understatement. At a guess I reckon we ate pushing 30 between us over a couple of days plus an airport stopover on the way home. No finer spot to enjoy this one.


The Santuário Nacional de Cristo Rei.


And more views across the red roof tops of the city.


The castle is really well preserved and looks not unlike the castles I used to draw as a kid, all pristine square towers and battlements.


What it lacked in spiral staircases and passageways it made up for with walks around the walls which were extensive.


Across the rooftops of the Alfama district.


I think there was a Camera Obscura in this tower (there was a queue to get in)


Family shot enjoying the sunshine.


After a very happy morning enjoying the views and the clear blue skies we headed down into the city. A view from one of the city squares back up to the castle.


A fine way to spend a morning. Castles and custard tarts, a great combination.


Off to find some lunch and some more Lisbon sights.


Winter Break in Lisbon – Miradors and Trams   10 comments

After the delights of Yorkshire it was time for more travels. We were headed for our usual dose of winter sun in the Canary Isles but due the vagaries of flight times and costs we choose to fly via Lisbon. May as well spend a couple of days there and have a look around then!

We were staying in the old district of Alfama, a maze of narrow streets and red roofed moorish houses. After a brief look round and fine meal the evening we arrived we set out the next morning for a proper explore.

Lots of small squares with orange trees in the neighbourhood.


Lisbon has lots of old style trams and this is one of the tours versions at the first square we came to.


As you’ll see from the many photos, Lisbon is a very hilly city. It has numerous squares and platforms for extensive views across the city called Miradors. We chose to take a look at a few on our first morning to get a feel for the city as it were. These first few photos are taken from the Largo das Portas do Sol and the Miradouro de Santa Luzia.


Our little flat is just to the left and below the left hand church tower in the photo below.


One of the regular trams.


Onwards and upwards to the second view point at Miradouro de Graca. Fine views across the city.


And onto the final and highest one at Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte.


Down through some typical narrow Lisbon streets to the plaza at Martin Moniz with its splendid fountains.


Back to the apartment for some lunch. This is our little block.


Onwards for more walking down to Lisbon’s most famous square at Placa do Comercio.


Its a huge open space down by the river which they were clearly preparing for New Year festivities.


Another Metro trip across town to pick up one of the Funicular railways that plough up the narrow hilly streets. This one is the Ascensor da Gloria.


In truth this one and its incline had been badly affected by graffiti but it was still fun.


It took us up to our final viewpoint of the day at Miradouro da Sao Pedro da Alcantara, looking back across the city from the opposite side to where we’d looked out in the morning.


Lisbon’s trams are somewhat curious in that they are very small, crowded, infrequent and not very clear as to where they go (we did find a map after a couple of days). We hopped on this one hoping it would take us down to the waterfront but it terminated after just one stop!


A walk down through the city to one of the more odd features the rather grandiose Elevador de Santa Justa.


There was huge queue to ascend the lift for a fee which is odd as you can walk to the viewing platform at the top for free (we tried to find the top but failed and never got chance to go back). Very impressive to look at from the bottom though.


We walked through Praca Rossio with its fountains (turned off by the time we got there) and then picked up a tram to take us back to Alfama.


A quick look inside the Se de Lisboa cathedral.


A huge building, as much castle as church.


This is the Igreja de Sao Miguel opposite our flat, viewed from the lounge window before we headed out for a meal and some music.


And a nighttime view of the flat.


It was actually raining when we set out which was something of a surprise but it stopped by the time we’d donned jackets. We walked back up to the mirador we visited in the morning for a night view across the city.


And the cathedral.


We had another fine meal out this time accompanied by some traditional Portuguese and Lisbon music called Fado. Its a very intense, emotional sort of folk music and whilst its not my sort of thing was very enjoyable and is an essential part of any visit to the city. A very short clip from my phone below.

Fado is normally just a singer and a guitar and this young lady was very talented and had one hell of a voice. It was a contrast to watch her really fill the restaurant with her voice and yet be so quietly spoken when she introduced the songs. It was a great accompaniment to a fine meal and well worth finding a Fado restaurant when you visit regardless of your musical taste.


A whistle stop tour of the city in a day covering many sights and views and one of the city’s cultural experiences. A great start to a great trip.

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