Friday, October 03, 2014


Or Lisbon, as we call it in English. We rolled into Lisbon with no expectations. As the last city on our itinerary, it was the one I hadn't quite gotten around to reading up on. Coming in on the bus it seemed vast and crowded and a bit grimy. The cab ride to our Airbnb flat was long and winding, through terrible traffic. The cab driver explained that there was a subway strike and traffic was worse than usual. Lisbon did not make a good first impression. But at last we arrived in Bairro Alto—the upper city—on a narrow little street and our charming little 2nd floor flat.

We walked down to a nearby plaza with a splendid view of the city and suddenly it all looked much better.

The next day we took the Elavador de Gloria, a funicular, at the end of our street, down the short, but very steep hill to the main part of the city and began to explore Lisbon.

I couldn't help but compare Lisbon to Madrid, with its expansive plazas and all the statues on pedestals, but the two cities are quite different. Madrid sparkles. Madrid is proud and grand. Lisbon seems a little shabby and tired, but also filled with a rather romantic and old-fashioned kind of charm. It grew on me.
Two things I loved:
The sidewalks...

And the tiled buildings.

The neighborhood where we stayed is very old and the narrow streets are filled with bars and restaurants. At night they fill with people and music that goes until 2 or 3 in the morning.


There was even more to like about Lisbon, which is another post for another day.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Those sidewalks are amazing! Wish we did that here. Can't wait to see more.