Thursday, August 1, 2013

Leisurely Walk Around Lisbon



I chose to include Portugal in my EU II itinerary because of Ferdinand Magellan. No kidding. I don’t admire, idolize nor pay any sort of tribute to him. But he is somewhat related to Philippine history so I thought I’d give my time and money visiting his home country.

The bus landed in Lisboa Siete Rios, Estacion de Autobuses. The station is a couple of minutes of walk away from Sete Rios station. The bus arrived shortly past 5 AM, earlier than scheduled. I was tired and groggy from the bus trip (and the whole trip at this point). I asked around and followed a couple of people on their way to the subway as well.


It was freezing cold in the subway. I had to wait for 30 more minutes before the subway opened. I kinda understand now why homeless people stay at the subway station for warmth. It was easy to find my last hostel for this trip: Good Morning Hostel in Lisbon. 

Since check-in was still at 3PM, I dumped myself and my stuff in the cushy cushions of the dorm and snuck in an hour’s worth of nap while waiting for 10AM. The morning tour started in Rossio Square. 

Rossio Square



For the first time, I met some travelers from Thailand and Malaysia. They are all students who just finished their graduate program. They were taking advantage of their remaining time in Europe – so they’ve been backpacking cheaply all over the place. Ah, to be young and 22 in Europe. When I was 22, I was working at an auditing firm for minimum wage.



The neighborhood in Lisbon is clean, and modern, compared to the past two cities I’ve explored: Granada and Seville. It doesn’t have a lot of neighborhood charm. Nice and clean it is. Like Madrid. But not appealing.


The neighborhood of Barrio Alto present some charm, but it didn't leave any distinct impression. 


The trees are blooming



I was lucky there was a street concert (of sorts) going on. I paused and listened to the Portuguese songs they were singing. I couldn't understand a thing but they have amazing harmony. 



I got the metro pass valid for 3 days. I like getting passes because it allows me to make mistakes without an additional cost. Since I was travelling alone, getting lost everyday is the norm. And changing plans as well.



Alfama is an old district in Lisbon which has narrow and winding streets. They had a festival when I was there so I was able to somewhat partake in the activities - by taking photos of the place. 


At day
At night

In the other side of town: Monastery de Jeronimo reminded is one of the tourist destinations in Lisbon. I spent a lot of time outside, trying to pick a nice passer-by who would take my photo. See, it is quite difficult to politely instruct strangers from taking your photo.





This is not the angle that I wanted but I can't really complain

It costs nothing to enter the church - if you  are not viewing the special exhibit. The church reminded me lot of Basilique du Sacré-Cœur in Paris.



Torre de Belem is a couple of minutes worth of walk from Monastery de Jeronimo. This is a tower served as the fortress to protect the river. Costs 5 euros to go inside.

Reminds me of Moat Caitlin in Game of Thrones



Canon down there.

A dent in the bars
The nice tourist got the angle right
There’s a lot to see in Lisbon, but not much to talk about. I guess the travel fatigue got to me at this point. I've been traveling for four weeks, the longest I've been away from home so far.

The highlight of my day: I found the famous custards sold near Torre de Belem. I knew there was one but I forgot to ask the hostel staff how to find it. When I was waiting for the tram to arrive, my eyes wandered to a bunch of teenage-looking kids flocking around a shop, which already had a long line outside. I left the line to follow them, I had time anyway. Voila! Custard cakes! I two for €2,40.


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