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Published: April 21st 2018
Wednesday: Another beautiful, warm day. Mike wore shorts and I left my coat at home. Yow-zah! It was a perfect day to explore the Alfama neighborhood, located just below the Sao Jorge Castle. This is the oldest area of the city, dating back to the Visigoths, and was largely spared by the 1755 earthquake/tsunami/fire. The streets are too narrow for most car traffic, making it a really fun place to get ourselves lost.
To get to our destination, we needed to walk to the Metro line that goes to the river edge on the border of Alfama. The nice, uncrowded train ride let us out at the port where the fishermen used to bring their load. Today, it is now the docking place for cruise ships to bring their load. Still pretty, despite the change in cargo and size of the ships. We began our wander.
Some fun sites, besides the breath-taking views: Murals
are everywhere, some as simple as a strategically placed sticker and some complicated frescos. All beautiful works of art. Testimonials
w photos have been placed on the sides of buildings. These are generally small pics laminated onto a stone backing with a tiny explanation next
to it. All in Portuguese so the nuance islets in the translation by my google machine. My fave, Three Marias, talks about three friends who would meet at the same bench in their tiny corner plaza, to chat about their lives. The Cartoon Tunnel,
which traces history of Lisbon through time. Even in Portuguese, it isn't difficult to read the snark behind the panels. Because the area is so old, many of the houses didn't have indoor plumbing so Public Baths
were common. Tiny balconies w laundry
hanging, line the narrow passageways. These balconies, back in the day, were required by the health department to be no wider than two hands, otherwise, with the laundry, there would be no light and no air circulating. Fado
, the soulful music of Lisbon, has its home here with many, tiny, dark restaurant/theaters.
Lunch was at a restaurant on an open plaza overlooking the rooftops and river. Funny thing, we ordered a pitcher of Sangria, expecting a small, .5-1 liter, but what came was a huge jug! Unable to finish it and unwilling to throw it away, Mike passed on the healthy remains to the next table of diners.
Back to our
stroll, we headed towards the center of town. Of course, I had to go into the dark and funky Lisbon Cathedral for a quick visit. Gelato break, as a reward then Uber home.
Tonight, Mike and I headed out to the Bairro Alto neighborhood and A Cevicheria. With a 45 minute wait for our table, we sat in the Principe Real Park, and listened to a great jazz trio while sipping a glass of wine. All the cool kids were there and the people watching was fun. The restaurant was tiny, with a giant octopus hanging from the ceiling. This was my favorite dinner since being here. We ordered two ceviche dishes and two cooked dishes, and I don't think we could agree on which was the most delish. We will be back!
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