my last afternoon in lisbon

Wednesday, July 24:  I return to Lisbon from Cascais in the late afternoon and take a long walk from the train station up an endless hill to Bairro Alto.  Here I stumble upon my last sighting of pastel de nata.  Oh how I will miss this treat when I leave Portugal tomorrow morning.

pastel de nata
pastel de nata

I’ll miss the mosaic cobbled walkways of the city.

streets of Lisbon
streets of Lisbon

And the dramatic statues in serene parks.

a statue in a park
a statue in a park

I drop into the Basilica dos Martires, dedicated to the martyrs who participated in the 1147 reconquest of Lisbon from the Moors.  This beautiful Baroque church was built after the 1755 earthquake on the site of another where the first baptism after the reconquest took place.  It was completed in 1784.  Inside is a marble altar and a beautifully painted ceiling, as well as an organ that’s considered one of the best in the country (LisbonLux: Basilica dos Martires).

more Lisbon architecture
Basilica dos Martires

I think the ceiling in this church is one of the most beautiful I have seen during my trip.

the ceiling of Basilica dos Martires
the ceiling of Basilica dos Martires

I’ll miss Portugal’s amazing architecture and Lisbon’s colorful buildings and street lamps.

street lamps
street lamps

I also drop into the skeletal Convento do Carmo; all that remains after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and a later violent fire are its cracked pillars and soaring arches, reaching longingly into the heavens.

Carmo Ruins
Carmo Ruins
arches to the heavens
arches to the heavens

The Carmo Archeological Museum keeps and exhibits important pieces of sculpture from the Carmo monastery and church, as well as from many other ancient buildings, such as monastic houses.  It also holds works from prehistoric times until the present day.

inside the Carmo Archeological Museum
inside the Carmo Archeological Museum
me at the Carmo Archeological Museum
me at the Carmo Archeological Museum
the Carmo Ruins
the Carmo Ruins
entrance to the Carmo Archeological Museum
entrance to the Carmo Archeological Museum

I continue heading up the hill past inviting cafes and the Teatro da Trinidad.

outdoor cafe
outdoor cafe
theater
theater

And I head back to my favorite spot in Lisbon, LOSTin, for a beer and some parting views of the city.

LOSTin Esplanade Bar
LOSTin Esplanade Bar
color decor as LOSTin
color decor as LOSTin
me enjoying Lisbon views and a beer at LOSTin
me enjoying Lisbon views and a beer at LOSTin
LOSTin
LOSTin
LOSTin
LOSTin

After going back to my hotel to rest a bit, I venture out one last time to have some dinner.  I pass more Lisbon balconies, which I wistfully wish were mine.

Lisbon balcony
Lisbon balcony

And I surprise myself by stopping into a sushi place that has been bustling every time I’ve passed it by.  The food is delicious, even though as a parting Lisbon experience, it’s not exactly Portuguese food. 🙂

sushi bar
sushi bar
my last dinner in Lisbon: sushi
my last dinner in Lisbon: sushi

Finally, I return to my hotel, where I request an early morning wake-up call for my flight back home to the USA. 😦

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lisbon’s bairro alto

Tuesday, July 23:  I’m not a big party girl while I’m on holiday, but if I were, Lisbon’s Bairro Alto would be the place to play.  The neighborhood is a short walk from my hotel, and this afternoon I explore its graffiti-splashed streets during the sleepy daylight hours.

the streets of Bairro Alto
the streets of Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto

This evening at 8:00, I’ll walk back to this part of the neighborhood to attend a fado performance at Luso.

Luso ~ where I go to hear fado tonight
Luso ~ where I go to hear fado tonight
Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto
tiles in Bairro Alto
tiles in Bairro Alto

I stop for a late lunch at what has quickly become my favorite lunch spot, LOSTin, right across the street from my hotel, with grand views of Lisbon.  I order a sandwich and enjoy the pink, green and royal blue wicker chairs shaded by Indian patchwork umbrellas.  This Esplanada Bar is an Indian snack-like restaurant that serves meals like toasts, wraps and sandwiches, but with an Indian flavor.

LOSTin
LOSTin
LOSTin
LOSTin
LOSTin
LOSTin

I order a ham and cheese sandwich, but it sounds a lot more fancy than that on the menu.

My sandwich at LOSTin
My sandwich at LOSTin

After lunch, I continue to explore the neighborhood, passing by the Elevador da Gloria once again.

Elevador de Gloria
Elevador de Gloria
Tiled facades in Bairro Alto
Tiled facades in Bairro Alto
Graffiti-covered walls in Bairro Alto
Graffiti-covered walls in Bairro Alto
Street art in Bairro Alto
Street art in Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto streets
Bairro Alto streets
windows in Bairro Alto
windows in Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto
Bairro Alto
More street art in Bairro Alto
More street art in Bairro Alto

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lisbon: meandering through the alfama district & LOSTin bairro alto

Monday, July 22: After leaving Castelo de São Jorge, I head out into the charming Alfama neighborhood surrounding the castle.  It’s a lovely little warren of cobbled streets where you just want to wander around forever.  Entrancing.  Bewitching. Beguiling.  Utterly captivating. 🙂

the neighborhood around the Castelo de São Jorge
the neighborhood around the Castelo de São Jorge
the Alfama neighborhood around the Castelo de São Jorge
the Alfama neighborhood around the Castelo de São Jorge
charming window in the the Alfama neighborhood around the Castelo de São Jorge
charming window in the Alfama neighborhood around the Castelo de São Jorge
a little shop in the neighborhood
a little shop in the neighborhood
another charming window
another charming window
a Portuguese woman and her colorful laundry :-)
a Portuguese woman and her colorful laundry 🙂
pretty walls and windows
pretty walls and windows
I love the colorful buildings
I love the colorful buildings
pretty little balcony
pretty little balcony
an inviting doorway
an inviting doorway
Portuguese tiles on the facade
Portuguese tiles on the facade

I then meander my way to the spot close to where the Lisbon Sightseeing Bus dropped me off; here I have some mediocre lunch at an outdoor cafe.  I then decide to take the iconic Vintage Tram 28 down the hill all the way to the end of the line.

on Vintage Tram 28
on Vintage Tram 28
Vintage Tram 28
Vintage Tram 28

At the end of the line, all passengers are told to disembark; we have to get on another tram to go back up the hill of Alfama.  We wait a while in the new tram until it climbs back up the steep hill.  We pass other colorful trams along the way.

another tram in Lisbon's Alfama
another tram in Lisbon’s Alfama

I dip into a church along the way, but I’m not sure what this one is called.

a church in Alfama
a church in Alfama
a beautiful church in Alfama
a beautiful church in Alfama

And then I walk down the narrow street, where trams are going up and down, until I reach a pedestrian shopping street.

a tram in Alfama
a tram in Alfama
a pedestrian shopping street
a pedestrian shopping street

At this pedestrian street, I stop for a little lunch and then I make my way, walking, back up the hill.   Walking in Lisbon is not easy as it has so many steep hills!  I pass some pretty shops and beautiful buildings.

a building in Alfama
a building in Alfama

I make my way further up the hill to The Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Mary Major, also known as Sé de Lisboa or simply Lisbon Cathedral. The oldest church in the city is the see of the Archdiocese of Lisbon. Since the beginning of the construction of the cathedral, in the year 1147, the building has been modified several times and survived many earthquakes. It is nowadays a mix of different architectural styles (Wikipedia: Lisbon Cathedral).

Sé de Lisboa
Sé de Lisboa
Sé de Lisboa
Sé de Lisboa
Sé de Lisboa
Sé de Lisboa
Sé de Lisboa
Sé de Lisboa

And then I find a cute little cafe where I decide it’s about time for a glass of wine.

a colorful cafe in Alfama
a colorful cafe in Alfama
wine and snacks
wine and snacks
giving my legs a rest!
giving my legs a rest!

I ask the owners if they’ll take a picture of me in front of the colorful and paint-chipped doors.  It looks a little strange because the door is either really small, or I’m really big!

me in Alfama
me in Alfama

I ask the owner where I can find Clube de Fado, because I’ve heard it’s around this area and I’d like to make a reservation to see some Fado and have dinner for tomorrow night.  He tells me it’s behind the Sé de Lisboa, whence I just came, so, guess what, I get to walk back down the hill I just came up.

I head back down hill past colorful buildings
I head back down hill past colorful buildings
and pretty balconies jutting out of tiled facades
and pretty balconies jutting out of tiled facades

I finally find the Clube de Fado, and I pop inside to reserve a spot for tomorrow night.  After this, I make my way back UP the hill, passing by the Igreja de Santiago and other interesting buildings.

Igreja de Santiago
Igreja de Santiago
the streets of Alfama
the streets of Alfama

Finally, I end up right back where I started from this morning, at the Miradouro of Santa Luzia, where I get more astounding views of Lisbon and the Rio Tejo.

view from Miradouro of Santa Luzia
view from Miradouro of Santa Luzia
view from Miradouro of Santa Luzia
view from Miradouro of Santa Luzia
view from Miradouro of Santa Luzia
view from Miradouro of Santa Luzia

Here, I hop back on the Hop On Hop Off bus to head back to my hotel, where I need to get off of my feet for a while.  On the bus, we pass hundreds of colorful buildings.

buildings we pass on the Lisbon Sightseeing Bus
buildings we pass on the Lisbon Sightseeing Bus
I pass this man and he seems startled to catch me taking a picture of him
I pass this man and he seems startled to catch me taking a picture of him

I get dropped off at the bottom of the hill again, and have to make my way back up Calcada de Gloria.  This time I decide to take the Elevador da Gloria up.  I just don’t think I can walk up any more hills today!

Elevador da Gloria
Elevador da Gloria
at the top of the hill of Bairro Alto
at the top of the hill of Bairro Alto

Of course at the top of the hill, I must stop at Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara for another view of the city and a cold beer at the little cafe.

Fountain at Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara
Sculpture at Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara
cafe at Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara
cafe at Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara
view from Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara
view from Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara
view from Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara
view from Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara

Finally, I’m at the top of Bairro Alto where my hotel, Pensão Londres, sits pretty in green.

Pensão Londres
Pensão Londres

I am so happy to relax in my room for a while before I go out to have some dinner.  My feet and legs are killing me from walking up and down Lisbon’s hills.  This time, I go to LOSTin, an Esplanada Bar.  It is an Indian snack-like restaurant that serves meals like toasts, wraps and sandwiches, but with an Indian flavor. The best thing about LOSTin is its gorgeous view over downtown and Lisbon castle; the cafe sits under the shade of beautiful trees with Indian umbrellas and cushions and pink and green wicker chairs. It’s a perfect place from the bustle of the city.  Plus, it’s right across the street from Pensão Londres, which means I don’t have to walk far. 🙂

view from LOSTin
view from LOSTin
view from LOSTin
view from LOSTin

My dinner is Gratinado de Gorgonzola, which of course is accompanied by a glass of red wine; though it doesn’t look that enticing from the picture, I can guarantee it’s delicious.

Gratinado de Gorgonzola
Gratinado de Gorgonzola

I go back to my room, feeling like I definitely got the most out of my day.  I loved all the views of the beautiful old city of Lisbon, and its charming and labyrinthine neighborhood of Alfama.