Tuesday, 23 May
Lisboa is the Portuguese name for Lisbon.
Even without a schedule, Dolora and I were up early. The two hour time change from Greece in affecting our schedules. I can hardly wait for the five hour change when we return home! Breakfast was a little quieter without the tour group from yesterday. Today we were off to tour some of the old town in a section called Alfama. The sidewalks are cobblestone, most with mosaic designs. Our stroll started with two elevator rides up to Castelo Sao Jorge. There is a small town that is within the walls and then the castle itself. The castle was pretty plain but the views were nice. The castle grounds had some peacocks that were squawking. One put on a display of it’s feathers for us. We wandered through the narrow winding streets of Alfama and stopped for a coffee near the cruise ship dock. Two ships were in.
We walked down along the shoreline to the Baixa area. There was a huge square with a large statue surrounded by government buildings built after the 1755 earthquake. Then up the pedestrian Rua Augusta which seemed to be the main tourist area. The churches we passed were pretty plain on the outside. Not far from a place that just sells salted cod, Dolora and I had a shot of Ginjinha at the oldest ginjinha bar in town. the ginjinha is made from ginja berries, a sort of sour cherry. We had our shot with berries. They were sour but it was a nice contrast to the taste of the liquor. The bar was selling ginjinha as fast as they could be poured.
We passed some streetcars and the funicular, a type of cable railway system that climbs some of the hills. Dolora and I found a place for a light lunch, salad and a half roast chicken, probably our smallest meal of the trip. We saved room for gelato and on our way found a shop full of items made from cork. Our guidebook mentioned another shop for cork so we decided to check it out. The route took us up 100 stairs (Dolora’s estimate). The shop mentioned in the book didn’t have much selection. Today the temperature hit 90. Since we heard thunder and could see rain in the distance, we headed back to the hotel. After a coffee in the lounge, up to the room where we watched the thunderstorm.
There was still a light rain falling after seven so we found a restaurant that was nearby. Another restaurant with a handwritten menu each day, in Portuguese of course. It seemed like Dolora and I were the only ones who spoke English. I saw baccala on the menu and ordered it. I was served a platter of cod with potatoes , onions and herbs, a sort of frittata. Dolora took a bit of a chance and ordered something wrapped in bacon. She was served a skewer of pork and bacon with a small salad, french fries and rice. Along with a pair of beers, the damages were about $23.00. Local food in a local atmosphere and great prices. We were too full to try to find more gelato tonight.
Tomorrow is our last full day in Europe. Probably will do a little shopping and a lot of walking to end the trip…