How can I possibly summarize the past 58 hours in Lisbon, Portugal in a single blog post? I could easily write several if I had time, but let me share at least some of the highlights.
Our plane landed at noon on Monday. After finding our way via public transit to our cozy little attic apartment, we immediately headed out to explore Baixa, the historical and commercial heart of Lisbon. Stepping out of Rossio station, we were greeted by sights like these and I knew that my long held dream had finally come true. I was in Europe!
Rossio Square or more properly Praça de Dom Pedro IV, one of several squares in the downtown area, was a short walk away. With it’s beautiful fountains and the obelisk topped by King Pedro IV, who reigned from October 1822 to April 1831, the square was the perfect spot to soak up some sun!
A little later in our walk, we came across the famous Santa Justa Lift. Had we realized when we joined the line that snaked its way up the hill at the base of the lift that the entire experience would take us over two hours (most of it standing in line), we probably wouldn’t have bothered going up. Once we finally made it to the top, however, the views were great and given the fact that Monday ended up being our only clear sunny day in Lisbon, I’m glad we took the time. Richard, however, calls it the stupidest thing we’ll do in Europe!
There’s Rossio Square again!
As it turns out, the Santa Justa Lift was far from the only high place we’ve visited in Lisbon! Yesterday morning, we took a bus up to São Jorge Castle, a medieval fortress perched high above the city. If you look closely, you can see it in the upper left quadrant of the first photo above.
After descending the hill on foot, wandering our way through the narrow cobbled streets of the Alfalma district and stopping for lunch along the way, we found yet another high place to climb. The Rua Augusta Arch stands at the end of the elegant pedestrian street, Rua Augusta, overlooking Praça do Comércio, or Commerce Square, and the Tagus River.
Again, the views from the top were great!
This is just a glimpse of the high places and some of the highlights of our first day and a half in Lisbon. I haven’t even gotten to today yet, but it’s getting late and we have an early plane to catch tomorrow, so the rest of Lisbon will have to wait!