Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Up and down Lisbon

I woke up in my little studio apartment about fifteen minutes before my alarm having had some strange dreams. I hope they don't continue. Settling down for some cereal I had purchased the night before, I enjoyed chocolocos, a chocolate version of corn flakes. I had a walking tour at 10:30 am meeting in Rossio Square so I slowly headed over. Arriving just before 10:30, I took the opportunity to stroll around the square and snap photos of the beautiful buildings.

Meeting up with the guide, the other tourists crowded round. The tour was with Wild Walkers Lisbon, I had heard about them from somewhere online and thought as I do enjoy walking tours I would give them a try. I had been on Sandeman's New Europe Lisbon Free Walking Tour as well as their Alfama tour so I was not sure if Wild Walkers would just be like hearing that tour over again.  Marco, the guide had us go around our small group and introduce ourselves and say a fact about the country we were from and everyone would have to guess. There were two other Canadian girls from Saskatchewan in the group as well as Americans, Dutch, German, French and Chinese. I think there must have been just over ten people in our group all girls except for Marco and one other guy. Heading from the square, Marco took us to Igreja de São Domingos church. It is classified as a National Monument and was once the largest church in Lisbon. Marco said the ceiling was painted red to show the blood of the Jews that were killed in the church. The pillars and walls show damage from the fire that broke out in 1959 that nearly destroyed the church.

Leaving the church behind we walked behind Rossio train station up to the Carmo Convent where we slipped into the viewpoint of the Santa Justa elevator. The top section is the paid viewpoint but we just stayed on the bottom and snapped photos from there. Below the São Jorge Castle and the zoomed in view of where I was snapping photos from the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte viewpoint.

Marco had us stop and get a pastel de nata from Manteigaria Fábrica de Pastéis de Nata. It was so good. I mean, pastel de nata are amazing. I am not a critic though, there are so many stores that sell them and to me they all taste pretty much the same. I had not heard of Manteigarua before but the pastel de nata I got was very nice. It seems all the place makes is pastel de nata and expresso. I guess if you can do business with just one thing go for it.

Following Marco, we headed from Chiado into Bairro-Alto into Bica taking in how Lisbon seemed to go up and down in so many areas. Stopping at Miradouro de Santa Catarina to get some photos of the 25 de Abril bridge and managed to take a panoramic of the waterfront. Continuing through Bica we took the Calçada da Bica Pequena down down down. The tour ended outside of the Mercado da Ribeira which was perfect as I was hungry for lunch.

Entering the Mercado da Ribiera I was forced to decide on what to have. Circling around I decided to get the half piri piri chicken, chips and a small beer from Miguel Laffan. What's cool about the Mercado is that there are plenty of spin off restaurants from chefs around Lisbon. The market was a lot busier when I had been in the day before but I managed to find a seat and enjoy my food. It was delicious. I really wanted to try some chocolate mouse with chocolate salami but I had no room. I want to go back and try that as well as find somewhere that sells chocolate salami.

Leaving the market, full and with directions to a copy place. I managed to find after walking past it a copy shop that would print me my boarding pass for Rome. Heading towards Chiado without much direction or purpose, I found myself in front of Tartine. I had heard about this cafe in my reading up on Lisbon. My memory not helping me, I stepped inside looking at the dessert case and deciding to go upstairs and sit down. I managed to get a hold of this apple tart with condensed milk. At least thats what I think it was. It sounds good in my head. I ordered it with an expresso and sat down to relax and enjoy.  There was a small boy running around, he must have been about two. So adorable. He came over to me to say hello. 

Leaving Tartine, I ended up at the Guarda Nacional Republicana Museum, basically the police museum. Admission was free so I wandered past the guard at the entrance and stepped inside. Not sure what to expect. The only other police museum I had ever been in was the one in Manchester. There was information on some things in English and then in other areas nothing. I wish I knew the story behind the random chair in the museum. There was a book that had been shot. Some really cool motorcycles and a bike with a big gun. I mostly enjoyed the hats and helmets that were on displayed and trying to take selfies with the funny looking figures.

Out of the museum, I watched the changing of the guard. I had watched it yesterday as well. I am not sure how often they switch out but they have to do a funny little set of steps and the next guard steps in and does some funny steps before settling in to guard whatever he's guarding. Heading back for my little apartment, I walked down Calçada da Glória which normally has trams running up and down it as it is a very steep hill. My little studio is a a short climb from the bottom of it. I admired all the graffiti art along it as I headed down. I found the two trams getting repainted yellow and wondered how long that would last.

Now I'm beary happy to be back in my little abode where I've made spaghetti bolognese for dinner with a Sangres Radler beer to wash it down. Pastel de nata from Aloma for dessert and then it's bed for me. No clue what tomorrow holds but I am sure it will be exciting.


  1. What fact did you say for the tour go guess?

    1. Well the other girls used the second largest country one and i cant remember the other girls one. I just said we were the best at hockey.