Blogs from Lisbon, Lisbon & Tagus Valley, Portugal, Europe

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Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon September 14th 2019

Overview This was my first visit to Europe in ten years. I had forgotten how many tourists come to Europe. It might be another ten years until I return... I can appreciate even better now how recent terrorist attacks in cities like Paris can have such a significant impact on a city's economy. I was also interested in getting a first-hand view of the impact of the Financial Crisis from ten years ago. That event is still raw for many Lisboetas. With a minimum wage of €700/mth and rents running the same, more and more Portuguese struggle to get ahead. There was certainly animosity towards the EU when talking to the locals. Two things struck me by surprise. One was the amount of English spoken by the Portuguese. However, in Europe, it is pretty tough to ... read more
Sintra - The Land of Palaces
The Fairytale Town of Sintra
National Sanctuary of Christ the King

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon September 6th 2019

Today is an opportunity to visit the couple of things that still seem important to see. Tomorrow we catch a train to Porto at 11.30am, and we’ll rattle our poor luggage down the narrow cobblestone footpaths to the station and settle back for the 3 hour trip. Last night we had dinner at a House Of Fado. Fado is a traditional style of music, believed to be born here in Alfama. It dates back to the 1820s but it’s thought to be much older. Fado has a reputation for being sad, serious, soulful music, but from what we saw it does have more upbeat moments. It’s difficult to describe without sounding an arthouse theatre going, coffee sipping, left wing wanker, but basically that’s what I am, so I’ve nothing to lose. Sue and I - notice ... read more
House of Fado
12String Portugués Guitar

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon September 5th 2019

Good God, what a place. I’m writing this, looking out at the early evening sky over the River. It’s pink fading to a soft blue, and I think it may have dropped to low 30°’s. The breeze coming off the river conceals the heat, and on most hot nights, sleeping is not a problem. At the moment, a thin line of sparkling orange and white lights form the horizon, and split the dark sea from the light blue sky. Sometimes I’m really not sure where this apartment is located. On google maps, you need to walk 20 metres and turn left or right into our street. The staircase twists and turns at every level, and I know our window faces the river, but where exactly I couldn’t say. We do not step outside without some effort. ... read more
It’s 34°c.
Jerónimos Monastery
Busloads On The Line, Jerónimos Monastery

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon September 4th 2019

We woke up to the sound of the neighbors playing with their children, laughing, and enjoying life. Their apartment is just offset from ours, but a little lower, so you can experience their life, whether you choose to or not. Without much of a plan, I looked up a tourist information place, or so I thought, and we started climbing west. As we turned the first corner, the tiniest cafe, on a corner at the foot of some steps, was the obvious breakfast stop. An almond cream tart and a cappuccino gave Sue the energy to continue, and we were soon following the tram line to the top of this hill called Alfama. The vivid colourful ceramic shops, and the working artists inside, drained the purse a bit, and as we stood discussing life and the ... read more
Heading next door for dinner.
Mini trams.
Tiled Building

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon September 3rd 2019

Currently high in the sky above Spain, the next part of our trip is about to start. Mission - Marry The Couple And Make Natalia A Sherry - was a success and she thinks she might have a movie career now with her new exotic name. Well, it’s exotic if you pronounce it the way it sounds in Polish. This morning I was forced out of bed by the incessant beeping of my phone, with all the early bird travellers communicating and making announcements via our whatsapp group, with no consideration for those of us who could sleep in; at 6am I don’t care where you are or if the train is late. Tim and Natalia are registering their marriage this morning and then meeting us for breakfast at Charlottes, a popular cafe in the old ... read more
Lisbon Harbour
Our Bright, Warm Coloured Loft.

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon April 12th 2019

Lisbon 11th April Our final port of call and we were arriving a good couple of hours late due to fighting head winds all day yesterday as we came out of the Mediterranean Sea, through the straits of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic Ocean. Normally we approach quite early in the morning so it gave us a chance to see the coastline in the daylight as we sailed up the river Tagus to our berth. We berthed at the newest terminal prow to prow with the Aurora, our next cruise ship which will take us to the Caribbean in January 2020. Lisbon is Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city. From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 of April suspension bridge. Since our visit last year they ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon February 9th 2019

-8 in Chilliwack this morning , a good day to be travelling. Our friends Kathie and Bill picked us up, we turned the rear seat heaters on and started our adventure. Air Canada’s Dreamliner is taking us to almost the Big Apple, we will connect to our destination just across the river in Newark. The checkin , security , customs all was easy peasy ,Kathy did have to stand in the Starbucks lineup for 20 minutes so she could reward herself with a $5 coffee drink. I guess they are cutting back on washroom paper products and only providing a small square of paper towel per mechanical request. Not quite enough to fulfill the task. She just took multiple squares , doesn’t make any sense. Good flight, we missed out on any upgrades but had bulkhead ... read more
Lisbon was funky

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon October 3rd 2018

Hello from Lisbon Portugal. Wait! We are getting ahead of ourselves. Last night we left you with the adventure on the high seas as our ship swooped in and rescued another ship in distress in the Straits of Gibraltar. It turned out there were about 50 people on that small boat and apparently they were refugees trying to make it to Europe. Unfortunately for them, it appeared to be the Moroccan rescue service which came to help them, so they probably went back where they started. Anyway, our captain announced that we would probably be 2 hours late arriving in Lisbon and they would have to try to keep as many tours as possible, but to wait for morning. In any case they would not sail until midnight instead of the planned departure of 10:00 PM. ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon August 17th 2018

This year I decided I wanted to see some different landscape for my annual European trip, so I decided to start in Lisbon. I had read Portugal was a beautiful country, and this was a good opportunity for me to see it first hand. Unfortunately for me, I only had a day to spend, but wanted to just see what I could see. I was very eager, and when I arrive, I make my way to my hostel. My hostel name was We Love F'n Tourists. And they did. This hostel was very hospitable to me. I couldn't check in yet, so I left my bags there, and off I went on my new adventure. I wanted to see the ocean, so I make my way to beach side. After a short walk, I arrive at ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon June 18th 2018

What today offered was a deeper insight into the cultural history of the people of Lisbon. We joined a small walking tour for 2.5 hours and in that time walked many a kilometre, climbed and descended hundreds of steps, wound our way through narrow lanes and alleys, viewed and listened to the local people going about their daily lives as well as absorbing what our guide was telling us about the suburbs of Mouraria, the most multiethnic neighbourhood in the city and still very authentically, Lisbon, and also the birthplace of Fado, and Alfama, meaning ‘hot fountains‘ or ‘hot baths’ and is the oldest district of Lisbon spreading on the slope of between the Sao Jorge Castle and the Tagus River the part of the old city we toured through. These suburbs are definitely poor but ... read more
In the Mouraria District.




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