Around the World... One Journey at a Time. Around the World... One Journey at a Time.

Portugal: Day 1

by Kathy 21. March 2011 20:58

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Day 2: Lisbon: Alfama, Castelo de São Jorge, & Fado >>


Arrival in Lisbon


Getting our body clocks adjusted to local time can be one of the most challenging aspects of traveling to the other side of the world. Lisbon is 8 hours ahead of California. However, we found that we only had to shift our internal time forward by about half that amount in order to slip into the daily rhythm of Portuguese life—i.e., staying up very late, and then sleeping in.  The first day is the most difficult.

We arrived in Lisbon mid-morning, but our bodies still thought it was the wee hours of the night, especially after very little sleep on the plane. Genevieve experienced motion sickness from the jostling shuttle ride between the plane and the customs area. Inside the airport, we were just about to join a very long line of people when we found ourselves frantically searching for tissues or a clean-up towel. Instantly, the Portuguese airport angels descended. They whisked us to the front of the line with great compassion and concern for Genevieve’s well-being, waving away our repeated apologies, and assuring us “no problem, no problem.” We would find this same warmth from many people throughout our journey in Portugal.

For our three-night stay in Lisbon, we had found a charming little apartment on the border of the Bairro Alto and Chiado districts. This area was a wonderful place to stay, with many restaurants and local shops nearby. Even better was the trolley stop right in front of our apartment building, next to the Praça de Camões (Camoes Plaza).

Here is a photo of the plaza from our 4th story front window:

From the kitchen, we overlooked some private courtyards and the River Tejo (Tagus):

A 3-hour nap was just what we all needed. Ahhh, bliss. We woke ready to go exploring!

Praça de Camões, at street level:

A few blocks from our apartment was the top stopping point of the Bico Funicular, which runs down (and back up) a stair-stepped street.

Here are Sebastian and Genevieve (then, ages 5 and 8) waiting for the funicular car to arrive:

All aboard!

This funicular began operating in 1892, carrying people up and down a short stretch of track that was about 1/6 of a mile long.

The decline wasn’t that steep at the beginning, but we could see what appeared to be a drop-off in the distance:

At the bottom of the tracks, we were deposited into an area lined with apartments and businesses. We were closer to the river, and the air was cold and windy. Sebastian was still feeling tired from the long plane trip and wanted to be carried--I didn't mind:

In light of the chilly winds, and Sebastian’s lack of energy, we reassessed our plans to walk down to the river. Instead, we chose to hike back up the hill and check out the neighborhood.

I loved the old buildings, with their balconies, soft colors, and peeling paint:

Heading up, we found this pedestrian street with stairs:

On the side streets, every parking spot had a tiny car in it.

I wonder if the car owners are ever reluctant to drive anywhere for fear of not finding an available space upon their return home. (This had actually been my mindset at times when I lived in an area of San Francisco with minimal street parking.)

Eventually we ended back on the funicular street, which had dual cars running. Genevieve was leading the way, and she heeded my request to “stay against the building” when the cars rolled near:

Ben had a firm grip on Sebastian’s hand, both to keep him safe and to help hoist him up the stairs:

For dinner this evening, we took a taxi to another plaza—Praça dos Restauradores (Restorer’s Plaza). Here is a postcard photo of the plaza:

The tall obelisk is a memorial that celebrates the restoration of Portugal’s independence from Spain in 1640.

We found a simple chicken rotisserie restaurant called “Bonjardim” on a side street near the plaza. We sat upstairs and munched happily on moist, spit-roasted chicken, shrimp, salad and fries. Here are Sebastian and Genevieve in front after dinner:

We had heard that the place is usually packed with locals and tourists, but you can see all of the empty tables out front in the above photo. That is because we ate so "early," around 6:30 p.m., our usual dinner time.  The prime dinnertime is usually after 8 or 9 in Lisbon!

After dinner, we wandered over to the middle of Praça dos Restauradores, where the moon was shining brightly overhead (competing with the street light):

Sebastian and Genevieve played at the base of the obelisk and statues. Sebastian’s energy had been replenished by all the good food, and he was ready for some climbing:

I was tired but happy:

Today had been a mellow introduction to this beautiful city. But I knew that we had not even begun to scratch the surface.

Back to Portugal Index Page

Day 2: Lisbon: Alfama, Castelo de São Jorge, & Fado >>


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Map of Our Journeys

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Our travel map

Places We’ve Been, w/Quick Links

   Bumthang Valley
   Gom Kora
   Paro Valley
   Punakha Dzong
   Sangdrup Jongkhar
   Wangdi Phrodrang

   Janko Marca
   La Paz
   Laguna Colorada
   Laguna Verde
   Salar de Coipasa
   Salar de Uyuni
   San Pablo
   Santa Rosa
   Sud Lipez
   World’s Most Dangerous Road

   Banff National Park
   Battle Hill Nat'l Hist. Site
   Boya Lake Prov. Park, BC
   Burns Lake Bike Park
   Canyon Sainte-Anne
   Dawson Creek
   Eastern Townships
   Fort Nelson
   Jasper National Park
   Kluane Lake, YK
   'Ksan Historical Village
   Lake Louise
   Liard Hot Springs
   Niagara Falls
   Quebec City
   Thousand Islands
   Vancouver Island
   Watson Lake

   Forbidden City
   Great Wall at Mutianyu
   Hong Kong
   Summer Palace
   Terracotta Warriors
   Tiananmen Square
   Yungang Caves

Costa Rica
   Arenal Volcano
   Finca Corsicana
   Hanging Bridges
   Manuel Antonio
   Poas Volcano
   Proyecto Asis
   Sky Trek Zip Lining
   Venado Caves


   Amazon Rainforest
   Chaquiñan Bicycle Trail
   La Mitad del Mundo
   Napo Wildlife Center
   Papallacta Hot Springs
   Proyecto DCR
   Yasuní National Park


   Baja California
   Frida Kahlo Museum
   Hierve el Agua
   Marietas Islands
   Mexico City
   Monte Alban
   Oaxaca City
   Puerto Angel
   Puerto Escondido
   Puerto Vallarta
   San Agustin
   San Martin Tilcajete
   Santa Fe de la Laguna
   Santa María el Tule
   Studio of Jacobo Angeles
   Teotitlán del Valle

   Dead Vlei
   Elondo Village
   Etosha Nat'l Park
   Hippo Pools Camp
   Hoba Meteorite
   Khowarib Camp
   Moose McGregor's Bakery
   Mowani Camp
   Ngepi Camp
   Nkasa Lupala
   n'Kwzi Camp
   River Dance Lodge
   Seisriem Camp
   Treesleeper Camp

   Cañón del Pato
   Cerro de Pasco
   La Oroya
   Machu Picchu
   Nuevo Jaén
   Tingo Maria
   Yungay Memorial


South Africa

   Rock of Gibraltar
   Santillana del Mar

United States National Parks
   Arches National Park, UT
   Badlands National Park, SD
   Bandelier National Monument, NM
   Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
   Cahokia Mounds (UNESCO site), IL
   Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
   Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Cape Hatteras National Shoreline, NC
   Capitol Reef National Park, UT
   Civil Rights Memorial, AL
   Death Valley National Park, CA
   Denali National Park, AK
   Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
   El Morro National Monument, NM
   Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
   Glacier National Park, MT
   Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
   Grand Tetons National Park, WY
   Great Basin National Park, NV
   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
   Joshua Tree National Park, CA
   Kaloko-Honokohau Nat'l Hist. Park, HI
   Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, NM
   King's Canyon National Park, CA
   Martin Luther King Jr. Nat'l Hist. Site, GA
   Mesa Verde National Park, CO
   Montezuma's Castle Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Monticello, VA
   Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
   Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
   Olympic National Park, WA
   Petrified Wood National Park, AZ
   Pinnacles National Monument, CA
   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Nat'l Hist Pk, HI
   Pu'ukohola Heiau Nat'l Historic Site, HI
   San Antonio Missions Nat'l Hist. Park, TX
   Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ
   Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ
   Washington Monument
   White Sands National Monument, NM
   Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
   Wright Brothers National Memorial in NC
   Yellowstone National Park, WY
   Yosemite National Park, CA

United States, Cities and Places
   The Alamo, TX
   Alaska Wildlife Conservation Cntr.
   Alpine Loop in CO
   Anchorage, AK
   Antares Junction, AZ
   Arctic Circle, AK
   Barrel Oak Winery in VA
   Biloxi, MS
   Bottle Tree Farm in CA
   Calico Ghost Town, CA
   Canfield Mountain Trail System, ID
   Cape St. Vincent, NY
   Carson City, NV
   Carter Caves State Park in KY
   Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, CA
   Child's Glacier, AK
   Circle B Chuckwagon Show in SD
   City Museum in MO
   Cody, WY
   Corn Palace in SD
   Crazy Horse Memorial in SD
   Custer State Park, SD
   Dalton Highway, AK
   Dinosaur Tracks in AZ
   Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
   Dry Falls (Sun Lakes-Dry Falls), WA
   Fairbanks, AK
   Front Royal, VA
   Gallup, NM
   Goffs, CA
   Grand Canyon Caves, AZ
   Grand Canyon Skywalk, AZ
   Grave Digger Monster Truck in NC
   Great Salt Lake, UT
   Hackberry General Store in AZ
   Hannibal, MO
   Hatteras Island, NC
   Hawaii (Big Island)
   Hickison Petroglyphs, NV
   Holbrook, AZ
   Hole in the Rock, UT
   Homer, AK
   Honey Island Swamp Tour in LA
   Hoover Dam, NV
   Hyder, AK
   Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in AZ
   John’s Peak OHV Area, OR
   Kailua-Kona, HI
   Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in AZ
   Kennecott, AK
   Kennecott Copper Mine in UT
   Kingman, AZ
   Lake Havasu, AZ
   Lake Tahoe, NV
   Las Vegas, NV (winter 2010)
   Little Brown Church in IA
   London Bridge in AZ
   Loneliest Road in America, Hwy. 50, NV
   Los Angeles, CA
   Lost Colony Show on Roanoke Isl., NC
   Lowe’s Speedway in NC
   Mardi Gras World in LA
   Mark Twain Museum in MO
   Meteor Crater, AZ
   Million Dollar Highway, CO
   Minnesota Zoo
   Mitchell, SD
   Moab, UT
   Moab, UT (dirt biking)
   Montgomery, AL
   Montpelier, ID
   Navajo Nation, AZ
   Needles, CA
   Nevada Beach, NV
   Newberry Springs, CA
   New River Gorge, WV
   New Orleans, LA
   Niagara Falls 
   North Pole, AK
   Oatman, AZ
   Old Faithful Geyser in WY
   Omak Stampede, WA
   Painted Desert, AZ
   Park City, UT (summer)
   Plymouth, NC
   Portage Valley, AK
   Portland, OR
   Prospect OHV Trail System, OR
   Resaca, GA
   Riverside State Park, WA
   Rock City in TN
   Rosa Parks Library and Museum in AL
   Roswell, NM
   Russian River, AK
   Salt Lake City, UT
   San Antonio, TX
   San Diego, CA
   San Juan Islands, WA
   San Francisco, CA
   Santa Catalina Island, CA
   Seattle, WA
   Sedona, AZ
   Shoe Tree in CA
   Shoe Tree in NV
   Silverton, CO
   Sonora, TX
   St. Louis, MO
   St. Paul, MN
   Talkeetna, AK
   Telluride, CO
   Route 66
   Twin Knobs Recreation Area in KY
   Virginia Beach, VA
   Washington D.C.
   Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in IL
   Williamsburg, VA
   Winom Frazier OHV Area, OR
   Winslow, AZ
   Zion National Park, UT

Planning Our Adventures

For us, each journey begins with the initial heart pangs to venture to a certain part of the world. Then the ideas start coming together . . . ahh, the possibilities . . . and the dream evolves gradually into an actual plan. But, oh, the joy of the dream!  Click here to learn more about how we plan and prepare for our journeys.

Where Are We Now?

Click here to discover where we are now, as well as our uncoming travel plans.

Words for the Heart

“. . . and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin