| GENERAL INFO (Jump to Diary)
The Portuguese Republic is an Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic, covering 92.212 square kilometres. It is the home to 10.341.330 citizens of which 84% are Christians.
The currency is Euro, worth 7,46 Danish Kroner. The GDP is US$213.001 billion.
The climate is a pleasant Mediterranean climate. Among the more interesting larger mammals are the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), Common genet (Genetta genetta), Gray wolf (Canis lupus), Brown bear (Ursus arctos) and Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica).
The flora changes with altitude, and although here are quite a lot, I expect no encounter, as this is only a 12 hours stop-over in Lisbon.
Lisboa is the
capital with a bit more than half a million citizens. It covers 100 square
kilometres, and is found along the Atlantic coast. It is an old city,
established by pre-Celtic tribes, and
later Phoenicians and Julius Caesar
made it a municipium called Felicitas Julia.
The expected 15C and 50% chance of rain turns out to be 14C, but full sun and real calm: Perfect! I arrival in Lisbon at 08;55, and head straight for the subway. Shift at one station, and jump off near Miradouro da Graça, which offers a great view over the old town. Or, that is: A small part of it, as it is huge city.
On another nearby hill, the huge Castelo de S. Jorge can be seen. I walk over there, but the €15 entrance fee and my quite intense program, leaves me outside. I do a lot of walking in the old streets and alleys of the town, among the lovely old and even medieval buildings.
I visit several of the many souvenir shops, and every employ is from Bangladesh. Well, they are nice people, and I get to talk with many of them, despite it is not really on the plan.
Then I reach Pink Street, which actually is pink. It is bar-street, and after a few photos, I head on. Next stop is at the huge and cosy Mercado da Ribeira, found in a huge hall. I start with lunch; a fried-egg sandwich, which is quite good. I poor the café latte into my mug, and head on. The market is real clean, and is made up of fancy shops, cafés, fruits and fish to name a few. I see it all, but control my eager trigger-finger - for once.
A bit inland, I find Bairro Alto, with the ruins of Convento do Carmo. I pay the fee for the museum, but I just have to see these high arches. The little museum have a few items from the stone-age till medieval times.
Further inland, and a bit higher up, I find Liberdade Avenue, the "Champs Elisees of Lisbon". Fancy shops aliening the huge trees, dominating the wide road. Well, with some leaves on, it would be more impressing, I guess. I walk half of it, but fail to find anything interesting.
I turn off towards the Botanical Garden of Lisbon, which, despite the entrance fee is not really what I had hoped for. I do most of it, just to be sure, but the few old and neglected collections are suffering under the huge trees.
The weather is nice, and I have time and energy for the additional sights. I find the bus for Mosteiro Jerónimos, which is huge and impressive. However, I get enough from the outside.
A bit further out along the seaside, I find, what must be "the Eiffeltower of Lisbon": Torre de Belém. I is a little, but great looking castle on the beach. I do a half loop around to get in from the sunny side, and avoid the human masses. I try to get the perfect photo, and despite I have postponed the sight till the afternoon, to get the sun right, it is a bit tricky.
Apparently it can not be seen from inside, but I pass a ticket boot with a long line, on the way back? Back pass the monastery and up a little hill, I find the Jardim Botanico Tropical Botanical Garden. Here are some huge desert plants and it is a nice park. Their cacti are suffering under some huge trees and by the recent generously rain. I do the loops, but fail to find anything, I haven't seen before.
Another bus brings me a bit back towards the old town's centre and Park Necessidade. It is a public park, but is have a huge area, dedicated to caudiciforms, cacti and other succulents.
Where the other botanical parks had peacocks, here, it is white hens and cocks that roams around. I try to capture some of it, but the sun is getting real low. I head out to find the bus for the metro.
It does not go all the expected way this afternoon, and I have to take two metros to the airport. It is pitch dark, when I reach it, but I just get time enough for a light meal, a cake, e-mails and Facebook update, before boarding.
As this was only a free stop-over, it have been fairly in-expensive. The 24 hours Metro & Busses pas was €11,50. I spend €15 on entrees, €26 on food and €8,50 on souvenirs. A total of €61 for full day's great entertainment. Photos of the day (146). The highlights (50).
PART 2: TAP Air
thought I would appreciate yet another stop-over. Only six hour, and I only
intend to see the castle and old town.
My initial plan was to see the huge fortification of Castelo de S. Jorge, which I skipped last, but it is closed this early in the morning. I only see the outer wall once more, and some of the views from this little mountaintop.
Then I head down again, and meet the less visit areas. Here are not that much paint - or plaster for that matter, but it is so photogenic, and I really enjoy it. Some houses are not painted, they are covered in colourful tiles, a typical Portuguese thing, I guess.
I head towards the huge and posh square at the seaside, and the buildings get bigger and better maintained. The square; Praça do Comércio once more impresses me, but I limit the photos - kind of. I find the covered market; Mercado da Ribeira nearby, but it still not impress me that much.
Through Pink Street and up to the glorious Bairro Alto, with the huge buildings, posh squares and the impressive ruin of Convento do Carmo. I find an elevator, which do look like an Eiffel-designed thing, and sure have the right age.
Over the lower end of Liberdade Avenue, then back towards Martim Moniz. I find an cheese omelette in freshly roasted bred at a local place, for the price of a cup of espresso, and it is delicious. Then I do a few more loops in this old, decayed area, before I have to find the metros for the airport.
And then the flight is an hour delayed, but at
least: It flies. Nice conversation with a British lady, living in Denmark,
most of the way home.
Lisbon is a real cosy old city, and besides from the sights I choose to see, it have so much more to offer. I might actually consider returning here one day.