We set off early on Tuesday morning armed with our Pocket Rough Guide to Lisbon. The weather again was warm and sunny so no need for coats, just shorts and a sweat shirt and a rucksack. We parked the car, bought “doz bilhete da Lisboa Apolonia” and caught the 9.06.
The train was fine – plenty of seats, clean and arrived on time. Leaving the station, we immediately had to climb one of Lisbon’s many hills and found ourselves in the middle of a huge flea market. Wandering through that and around the castle, we could see the old part of the city and then found an elevator to take us back down to the lower level. No joke – Lisbon has a couple of elevators that take you up and down and also a funicular railway to help cope with hills. It has trams, buses and a metro system.
Preferring to walk, we headed for Baixa and Chiado districts – the main shopping and tourist areas with pedestrianised streets, huge squares and massive monuments. We really enjoyed the fashion and design museum (Musea Design Moda) which is housed in a former very grand bank – the ceramics were displayed in the vaults! We also stopped for coffee and pastel de nata just to keep our strength up!
We walked a lot, found the tourist office, bought Via Vagem cards to use on the transport system (Lisbon’s answer to the Oyster Card) and had lunch in ‘Food & Flowers’ a nice little cafe overseen by two cute, well behaved dogs and a couple of very caring owners. The chocolate cake for dessert was ‘from around the world’.
After lunch we wandered about some more, found the via of fish restaurants and Rossio Station with its horseshoe shaped entrances. Finally, we discovered Mercado da Figeuira – a little specialist shop selling fresh produce, cakes and a great range of port. We also spotted half bottles of a very famous 70s wine which we couldn’t resist. Barb plans to put a candle in the bottle once we’ve drunk it.
Back to Apolonia by metro – very modern – we just miss a train so are forced to have tea and cake in the waiting room.
The return journey is quick and uneventful and we are back at the villa by 6.00 and start to plan our next visit. There are about 4 areas we want to explore so several more trips are likely. It seems easy to get in and out – cheap too, about 4 euros each return – and getting about once in the city is not a problem.
Tomorrow will be a catch up day – a bit of work, some cycling and a bit more research.