Posted by: Gary Guertin | December 2, 2011

21. Atlantic/N. Africa/W. Med. Cruise – Port #19, Lisbon, Portugal–Day 1

Today I’m posting 19,20,21, & 22. Please read in sequence

Hi All,

This is going to be a long one because I took over 150 photos each day of the two days we stopped in Lisbon.  This is another port that I’ll post all the photos of on Picasa when I get back and try to hold down the number here to a few (ha, ha, a lot).

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, a city of over one million people, although we heard greater Lisbon has over two million.  Although the country is small (about the size of Indiana) it has a long Atlantic coastline and is a maritime nation known for its explorers, sailors, and fishermen.  Portugal will go down in history as one of the greatest nations of exploration, reaching its peak in the 15th century under Prince Henry the Navigator and led by Vasco da Gama. Portuguese explorers charted the Azores archipelago in 1427 and discovered Japan in 1542.  They charted routes to Africa, India, the Far East and the Americas.

Lisbon is located near the mouth of the Tagus (Tejo) River mostly on its north bank. The Maasdam docked right across from the main train station and below the famous old Alfama Quarter.  The city is built on a series of hills and is often compared with San Francisco for its hills and bridge.  Let’s first look at the area where we docked:

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If it looks a little foggy, it’s because it is.  Both days we were here, we had fog until almost noon and the temperature was in the low to middle 50’s.  You had to bundle up.  Strangely enough, even with the fog, there was a cold wind off the Atlantic.  As I said that blue building in front is the main train station.  Our port sign:

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  with our dear friend Teresa’s help we got in contact with Milita, her lovely friend who lives in Lisbon, and arranged to go out to dinner and listen to some Fado (the local folk music) the first day we were in port.  In the meantime, again with their recommendation, we purchased a 48 hour hop-on-hop-off bus/trolley ticket which included two major tour routes so we could get a good look at the entire city.  The first day, we decided to take the tour that led us to east Lisbon which is the new, modern side of the city.  Because of the number of photos, I’d like to show you some street photos, some building photos, some statue/square photos, and finally some photos taken in the evening with Milita.  Most of the photos were taken from the upper deck of one of those double decker London type tour buses, so please forgive me if the quality is not great.

First a look at some of the street/boulevard photos:

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Remember this is the new, modern side of Lisbon.  Look at this modern shopping center:

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and the other side of the street:

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How about these modern buildings, the first with a sculpture on top:

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a new stadium:

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It wasn’t all modern, some of the old world was still sprinkled here and there:

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and of course the tiled buildings:

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and the beautiful museums, government buildings, etc.:

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Now the statues/squares, and first the modern:

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and the old:

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After our tour, we stopped with some ship board friends  in a Swiss pastry shop:

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Back to the ship, shower, change clothes, and we were off for a wonderful evening with Milita.  She drove us up into the old Alfama Quarter, mostly influenced by the Moors, with a mixture of Moorish and medieval, almost all built prior to the late 1700’s. It’s cobble stone streets and narrow alleys make it one of Europe’s most colorful districts.  We started out by parking the car and going on foot down one of the wide streets:

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but check out some of the side streets:

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We stopped in a small café for some wine  and met Mafalda, so I got a picture of Milita, Mafalda, and Susy as we finished our first bottle of wine:

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Next it was on to dinner and to listen to Fado (Portuguese folk music).  We found a Fado museum with a café and a Fado group (a singer and two guitar players) performing.  Here’s the three of us having dinner:

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Now this restaurant was in a modern building and across from our table was an upright piano.  Can you tell whether the piano, wall, or floor are straight?

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We ended our second bottle of wine and this marvelous evening with Milita.  The two of us had spent another one of those unforgettable days/evenings.  Milita was a wonderful hostess to her lovely city and we left her with many thanks and a promise to return to see her lovely country house and again enjoy lovely Lisbon.

But we still had another day, so on to Day 2:

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)


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