Blogs from Lisboa, Portugal, Europe


Europe » Portugal » Lisboa August 30th 2023

Having purchased our 24-hour Lisboa cards yesterday afternoon we were keen to get our money’s worth out of them. Although we are just around the corner from the Elevador de Santa Justa we haven’t ridden it because we are not prepared to queue for an hour for a 30-second ride!! Because the ride is included on our card, this morning we resolved to get up early and go to ride the elevador as soon as possible after it opens at 7.30am before the queue gets out of control. Hmmn, so we arrive at the elevador at 7.45am and … it’s not open! Oh well, let’s return to the Praça do Comércio early in the morning and try to take some photos without loads of people milling about. Fabulous, that plan worked well and we were able ... read more
Arco da Rua Augusta
Arco da Rua Augusta

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa August 29th 2023

This morning we set out uphill again – on foot again! – to visit the Castelo de São Jorge. It was still fairly early so it wasn’t too hot slogging up the hill. Mind you we arrived at the castle and there were yellow buses dropping people right at the gate! Why do I keep letting myself be talked into walking everywhere??? Ah well, I guess I need to exercise (a lot!) to make up for the amount of gelato I am eating, to say nothing of the Portuguese tarts. We’ve eaten three tarts per day, for three days in a row. And it’s not like we are deciding between ice-cream and tarts, we have been having ice-creams AND tarts daily. Talk about a sugar overdose! Bernie purchased our tickets online last night so we entered ... read more
Lisboa Graffiti
View from Miradoura do Castelo de Sao Jorge
View from Miradouro do Castelo de Sao Jorge

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa August 28th 2023

Today we headed out of Lisbon on an Into Lisbon operated tour to Fátima, Batalha, Nazaré and Óbidos. We walked over to the Hard Rock Café where it seems all the tour operators arrange to meet their tour groups. There were people everywhere at the appointed time of 8.20am, but not a guide in site. We were somewhat reassured that we could at least see a vehicle operated by Into Lisbon Tours. At 8.30am guides appeared seemingly out of nowhere and started calling out the names of the tourists on their lists. We were paired up with Tomás and our group of eight headed off with him into the underground parking lot to his minibus. Thank goodness for a Lisboan local to navigate the roads leading out of the city! I am quite sure we would ... read more
Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima
Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima
Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa August 27th 2023

Now I am prepared to admit that I have no sense of direction and my ability to navigate anywhere – home or away – is seriously impaired, so I have always relied on Bernie to find our way around. And Bernie’s navigational ability has served us well in the past. However, at some point in time Bernie stopped trusting his own ability to read a map and navigate and put all of his trust in Google Maps. Now that is all well and good, provided Google Maps is playing nicely. This morning Bernie asked for directions to Praça da Figueira which is a four minute walk from our apartment so pretty much out our door, turn left, turn left again at the second street and walk straight along that street until you get there. Ahem, Bernie ... read more
Faience in blue and white
Restorado por
Altarpiece of our Lady of Life

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa August 26th 2023

This morning we headed off planning to catch the 10:04am train to Évora. We caught the metro from our local station to Sete Rios Station where we would catch the inter-city train. We allowed plenty of time and even though we went overland between the metro station and the inter-city station (we could have transferred between them underground!) we arrived with heaps of time to spare. The appointed 10:04am departure time arrived … and passed. Hmmn, announcements were being made, but only in Portuguese. No-one was leaving the platform though so we decided the train must be delayed rather than cancelled??? We waited and waited and waited and then people gradually started leaving the platform. We asked a young Asian man heading towards the stairs if he knew what was going on. Yes, he had asked ... read more
Horses by the station
Outer Wall
Ruinas Fingadas

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa August 25th 2023

Today it was Belém, Take II. Having missed things on our Belém list yesterday we resolved to rise earlier today to be near the head of the queue for the monastery this morning. We repeated our rail journeys of yesterday and, once again, the train didn’t stop at Belém this morning. Hmmn, obviously you need to have access to a full timetable to know what stations the train is (and isn’t!) going to stop at. The information board at the station only gave the destination and time of departure for the train. Soooooo, we alighted at the same stop as yesterday morning which wasn’t so bad for going to the Torre de Belém but was not so great for the monastery. We were looking at a 30-minute walk back to the monastery until we realised that ... read more
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
South Portal, Church of Santa Maria
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa August 24th 2023

Phew, another hot and uncomfortable night with no air conditioning. The owner/operator of the apartments did respond to Bernie’s email about the a/c. They are aware of the situation, but it is the outdoor machines that have a problem and it is being investigated. Well, der, it is the outside unit that does the heavy lifting, just get them serviced or replaced! We are very cynical about this and feel that the owner/operator has probably been telling clients all summer that the air conditioning is ‘being investigated’. All we can console ourselves with is that we are not in residence during one of the three extreme heat waves that Lisbon has sweltered through this summer. I mean at least daytime temperatures are only in the 30s not the 40s!! So, we slept with the pedestal fan ... read more
Changing the Guard
Belem Tower
Steven on Belem Tower

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa August 23rd 2023

I woke up once in the middle of the night, which is pretty usual for me, and then slept through until 5.00am which wasn’t too bad. I tried to doze off again thinking just one more hour of sleep would be good. However, when it ticked over to six o’clock, I gave up and decided I might as well be writing the blog for yesterday and posting it. After breakfast it was time to head out to see some of Lisbon’s many attractions. We walked back out into Praça (square) Dom Pedro IV which is only a couple of minutes from our apartment. We are very well located with the square, dubbed The Rossio by Lisboans, considered to be the heart of Lisbon. After taking photos of the fountains and the monument to Dom Pedro it ... read more
Praca Dom Pedro IV
Chafariz do Carmo
Covento do Carmo

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa August 22nd 2023

When long-haul flying it is sometimes hard to decide when one day ends and another begins?? I decided it seemed logical to finish recording Monday’s activities after dinner and record the rest of the flight as being on Tuesday. Flying west chasing the sun, I think Tuesday is going to be a very, very long day. After dinner we both watched ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3’ seeing as we missed it at the cinema. Then we slept a bit and then I binged seven of eight episodes of ‘Colin from Accounts’. Oh, no, what is going to happen next? Episode 7 ended on a bit of a cliffhanger! Hopefully I can finish Series 1 on the next leg??? Bernie ate a small chicken and leek calzone when it was offered overnight, but I waited until ... read more
Elevador De Santa Justa
Praca do Rossio
National Theatre

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa July 23rd 2023

Arriving in Lisbon, the cicadas are singling merrily indicating it’s getting hotter! and we are looking forward to a dip in the beautiful campsite pool. However, relaxing at the campsite was a challenge, there are hoards of children, primary school aged, seemingly in summer schools, identified by different coloured hats. They are everywhere, including over 100 in our campsite pool! Tram 28 featured highly in the guidebook and social media as the ‘best way to experience Lisbon’. We arrived via bus from our campsite, duly bought our public transport tickets and headed to the recommended start of the tram route, only to find over 100 people queuing! The trams are delightful vintage stock, but they only take around 20-30 people at a time and run every 15-20 mins. Plan B -walk the tram route, its only ... read more

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