Lisbon, Portugal – Walkabout

by Sue on January 27, 2015

Florist shop

Florist shop

Lisbon is described as a safe harbor – one of the remaining havens in Europe for sophisticated culture and relaxation in a time of tourist destinations. This time of year anyway, there are no parking lots full of tour buses, and reservations are easy to get or not needed. Walking miles each day around the city’s steep and often narrow streets has been a delight. Day and night we have felt very comfortable and safe exploring.

Saturday and the laundry is drying.

Saturday and the laundry is drying.

Few places in the world can pride themselves on maintaining the tradition and artistic use of tiles. Each group of “azulejos” (from the Arab word azzelij meaning small polished stone), as they are called in Portuguese, tell a story or portray a tradition. They are used to decorate interiors, whole facades of buildings, churches, and streets.

Tiles decorate an antique book store.

Trams and tiles_new

Bronze sculpture of Portugal’s famous writer and poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935).

Bronze sculpture of Portugal’s famous writer and poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935).

Famous cafe ‘A Brasileira’ in Chiado where Pessoa’s sculpture lives out on the terrace.

Famous cafe ‘A Brasileira’ in Chiado where Pessoa’s sculpture lives out on the terrace.

The best way to travel is to feel’ Pessoa wrote, ‘so feel everything in every possible way.’ Pessoa was born in Lisbon in 1888. The story is that apart from his high school years, which he spent in South Africa, he lived in Lisbon without a break, without taking public holidays, without traveling abroad. Instead inventing many lives (and cities) out of his own. Pessoa spent a lot of his time in cafes, where he wrote and drank a lot . He died in 1935, aged 47.

Window pots_new

City window garden.

Pedestrian friendly area near our hotel - Brown's Downtown.

Pedestrian friendly area near our hotel – Brown’s Downtown.

Aqueduct_new

Portion of aqueduct with a tile fresco.

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum’s cool facade.

Tram ride anyone?

Tram ride anyone?

Strolling back to our hotel after dinner we come across the lookout that evaded us during the day… in the distance is the Castelo de Sao Jorge – tomorrow’s destination.

Night lookout_new

Castle at night_new

We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”     ~ Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

You may enjoy our other posts on Lisbon:

Lisbon, Portugal – Arrival/Chegada
Lisbon, Portugal – Mercado da Ribeira

Lisbon’s Rua Nova do Carvalho was cited in a New York Times travel article – Favorite Streets in 12 European Cities. Closed to traffic, painted a cheerful shade of pink it is Lisbon’s most bustling new party strip… and it is near our one of our favorite food markets – Mercado da Ribeira.

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wendy@chezchloe January 27, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Lisbon has definitely just been added to my list. x

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