Friday, May 26, 2017

Euro 17 Day 5

I have some of the days a bit mixed up because I did not change the time on the camera, but no matter. Almost all the footpath paving in Lisbon is small flat tiles, sometimes in patterns but mostly not. They do really look so nice. In some places they are highly polished.


What on earth??? I snapped this from the bus tour the day before.



Sentries guarding the Presidential Palace.


Belem Tower. My goodness, it was popular with tourists and there was a jam up of cars and buses in the parking area.


In the distance is a religious statue, similar to Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.


The statue of Marques de Pombal. Our hotel is on the right in the middle of the taller buildings.


To the park for a wedding photo shoot.


The park across the road from our hotel. It looks to be a ceremonial park. The asphalted area is an area for the tourist coaches, hop on hop off buses and regular buses.



They are dummies, you dummy.


One of those aqua buses, first seen by me in Budapest. Note the fixtures to keep cars off the paving. All sorts of bollards are used all over Europe to keep traffic off walking areas. I am not sure if this is to do with terrorism or just disobedient drivers.


Lisbon has many squares. The hill does not look so steep, but it was.


Saint George's Castle overlooks old Lisbon.


Up and down the narrow winding streets we went.



The Marquess de Pombal, again.


We left the station by the wrong exit. My offline maps on my phone helped us get to very near where we wanted to be, but we just could not find the elevator, the Santa Justa Lift. I think we were looking for the bottom of it, rather than the top. We eventually found it, with an attractive cast iron walking bridge to the lift. But above was a viewing platform.  




Inside the lift was a ticket validator where we could pay for the ride using our transport cards. Obviously the lift and the funiculars are considered to be public transport.



Isn't it just fantastic. You can't see the walkway at the back in the photo but the lift platform at the top is level with the ground behind.


From the bus the day before we had noticed a large flat area near the river. I had already worked out that a tram would take us there but first I wanted to ride on the route 28 tram that goes up near St George's Castle. We walked to where we had seen it and found a tram stop. When I say walked, we climbed some very steep hills. I was tired and R was exhausted. Here it was single line. A tram arrived but it didn't seem to be going the right way. Nevertheless, we climbed on, along with every tourist in Lisbon and the tram ground its way along, at times reaching quite a high speed in the narrow streets. Ok, I definitely knew we were going the wrong way, so we left, crossed the road to the tram stop on the other side. There were two tracks here at least. We sat as policemen roared up in cars and motorcycles and blocked the intersection, diverting cars into a side street. We sat mesmerised by the chaos. The traffic was banked back down the hill and it would take an age to clear and the tram to arrive. The reason for the blockage became clear as protesting comrades marched towards us.


Unrelated, the street in one direction remained blocked for these performers to walk from the square where we had seen them earlier.


After about half an hour of waiting, we looked for an alternative. R was in no mood for a longish tram ride up to the castle, so we hired a so called tuk tuk to take us to the large flat area for the outrageous sum of €10. We should have bargained him down, but we did not have the energy. Traffic began moving again, and we passed where we had boarded the tram and I saw that one track diverts for a short distance at that spot. I needed to concentrate better, but I was quite conscious of R moaning that he was having a heart attack.  



The tuk tuk drivers are mostly women, I think, but ours was a friendly young male student who was inquisitive about Australia. He delivered us to the flat area, Commerce Square. Look, no hills!


Through the arch is Rua Augusta, with many outdoor cafes and shops.......a tourist hotspot. We stopped for lunch and then wandered along. 


As we crossed about the sixth street, we looked to our left and there was the blasted lift we came down on earlier. We could have just walked this way after leaving the lift. Segway tour guides in the square, with the river beyond.


Near the river was a closer metro station, Terreiro do Paco, so we caught the train back to our hotel from there. I'd never seen escalators before that rise, flatten out and then climb again.


We had a nice Italian dinner near our hotel and in the morning we were off to Porto.

25 comments:

  1. Wow, wow and wow again.
    I have never seen escalators like that either.
    I think my legs would have dissolved to a painful jelly if I had tried to walk some of those streets (and I am glad to hear that R's fears about a heart attack were misguided).

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    1. EC, we just are not used to hills at all. The locals stride up and down them, even the quite old.

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  2. Love that blue hotel!

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    1. John, it is very Portuguese.

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  3. I love those escalators. I almost think we should have escalators everywhere. It might have been cheaper to cover Australia in escalators and travelators instead of the NBN. :)

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    1. Snoskred, and deliver messages personally rather than rely on the slow for many, NBN.

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  4. I find the floors interesting in other parts of world interestin...Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, always interesting to see what other countries do.

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  5. What a lot of running around to get nowhere and uphill too! I'm glad R wasn't having a heart attack.
    I think Lisbon buildings are so pretty with the pinks and blues.

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    1. Yep River. As a tour guide, I really fucked up. Lisbon was way cool, with so many nice buildings.

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  6. The bollards are a necessity, otherwise you end up with cars all over the path, all higgldy piddldy.

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    1. Fen, as I thought. It was too soon after terror attacks for bollards to be put in place.

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    2. Indeed! When I went to Macedonia many moons ago, the cars parking on footpaths were crazy! There was no organisation to it at all and you had to weave around them quite often.

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  7. Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower were the most interesting places to visit with the tour guide. Normally I am not too interested in military architecture.

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    1. Hels, I am not so interested in military but there was an awful lot of infrastructure along the rivers, for protection no doubt.

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  8. Looks very nice there. Like that idea to keep cars off the footpath.
    Gosh the streets are steep.

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    1. Margaret, keeping cars under control is taken seriously, it would seem.

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  9. Sounds and looks brilliant! I would enjoy the architecture there very much! When Aimee and I were in Paris we climbed so many stairs, walked so many miles that we actually lost weight on holiday.. I bet yourself and R came back with tighter derrièrs 😊

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    1. Grace, R put on weight but I didn't. We are always fitter after holidays.

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  10. I've read many similar accounts of travel, where things get mixed up as to how to get where. I enjoyed yours as well. Why, I wonder, do I enjoy reading about dyfunction in adventures? No clue. But the diversions, like the police suddenly showing up to close the street, are interesting.

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    1. Strayer, I keep in mind to include some challenging times, for your entertainment.

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  11. Many wonderful memories you made...thanks for sharing your trip with us, Andrew. :)

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    1. Thanks Lee. It also helps to plant the memories better in my head.

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  12. That park across your hotel is the Edward VI park - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduardo_VII_Park
    Lovely photos of your visit to Lisbon.
    It's known as the city of 7 hills, so there's always lots to climb!

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    1. Sami, R keeps dining out on the seven hills. He says, no one told us before we went to Lisbon that it was built on 7 hills. Interesting English connection about the park.

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