Friday 2nd December 2022
We woke reasonably early because of the time zone change but still didn’t get away too early. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast included in our accommodation, attempted to chat with our Portuguese/French speaking hostess. It was challenging but we managed to get what we needed. I used google translate to thank her for a lovely stay, beautiful accommodation and breakfast. It always makes them smile. I tried to learn the correct pronunciation of a couple of words, and also that some of the words I was saying had different endings for different gender. Don’t know how they will handle this with the Non-binary people of today’s age. We headed back to the room for DB to formulate a plan for our city walk in Lisboa (Lisbon). I hate the way we change the spelling of places in other countries, so I always try to use the correct spelling. We headed off at about 10am for the short drive to Lisboa, we arrive there at about 11.30am, a little later than we had hoped. We secured a spot in another squeezy underground parking station. It had been tricky getting in to the city centre and as always I am in awe at David’s calmness in the midst of a challenging new city. He does so well. We head down to the esplanade along the waterfront which is surprisingly very crowded with tourists. It is probably the most tourists we have seen all holiday. Our first stop is Commerce Square and the equestrian statue of King José I. We then walked through the main shopping street of the city with boutiques, souvenirs shops, patisseries and restaurants lining the pedestrian mall. We then went to the Santa Justa Lift and then walked a distance to see the Sao Jorge Castle via Rossio Square, unfortunately there was a very long queue to get in and we didn’t really have time to wait. Today’s city visit is to be short as we need to drive at least 500km of our 3000km we still have to get to Ben’s by Tuesday afternoon. We walked all around the castle trying to find a vantage spot to view it from above but we should have realised that it was at the top of the hill and we needed a helicopter or a drone to view it.
“Sao Jorge Castle occupies a commanding position overlooking the city of Lisbon and the Tagus River. The strongly fortified citadel dates from medieval times and is located atop the highest hill in the historic centre of the city.” We should have read this description before we set out this morning and we would have saved ourselves about a 30min walk trying to see it. Oh well, it was a lovely walk through the back streets of Lisboa Old City with its colourful buildings and many mosaic tiled facades. It truly is beautiful. We continued back down to the city centre where we tried some street food from a couple of the Christmas market stalls. David had a suckling pig wrap with lettuce and straws (our crisp french fries) and I had a plate of mixed sausages. We then also had a little pork pie followed by a Portugese tart for dessert. No dinner for me tonight. After walking over 10km in 3.5 hours we decided to get on the road at about 3pm. We will struggle to make the required distance again today. We are definitely making life more difficult as each day goes on. The plan was for David to get us out of the city on to the motorway and then I would have a drive. Unfortunately for David, I was comatosed by then and couldn’t wake up enough to drive. He managed to drive a total of 340km, another fail, we wanted to do 500km today.
“Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 544,851 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2.”
“Commerce Square, which was completely rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1755. It is 35,000m2 with the equestrian statue of King José I.“
“Santa Justa Lift is a vertical street lift which offers views over the downtown area, the Rossio Square and the Sao Jorge Castle.The lift was built in 1902 and was originally powered by steam before being converted to electricity in 1902. It has a neogothic iron lace exterior and is an impressive piece of engineering. “
“Rossio Square has been one of Lisbon’s main squares since the Middle Ages, it is laid out in beautiful wave-patterned Portugese paving with two baroque fountains.”