Breakfast at the hotel was nice if not a little bit chaotic. We were seated in the nice old section of the hotel with very high ceilings and gilded patterns. But the buffet was set out in a tiny room where all guests were squashed in getting their breakfast. Basically we were criss crossing each other’s way.
After breakfast, we planned our day. Having been to tons of churches this year, I didn’t feel a strong need to visit more. So we agreed to go to the Sao Jorge Castille and Museu do Oriente. It’s be great to see how Portugal interprets it’s glorious global past. With this loose plan in mind, we set off on our own walking tour. Walking the hills is a good way to work off those Portuguese tarts.
The view from the Elevator de San Justa. Elevator is a tourist trap. It costs €5 to go up or down a few stories, and €1.50 to go to the top platform. Apparently this elevator was built because the rich people who lived at the top of the hill were too rich to climb it.
But you get very nice views of the city.
Pedestrian overhead bridge towers over the lower streets.
The Convento do Carmo in Chiado, whose roof and nave collapsed on churchgoers praying on All Saints Day in 1755 as a result of an earthquake. About 30% of Lisbon’s population is believed to have died from the initial event, and subsequent fires, tsunamis and disease.
Having wandered around, we went to the Alfama district to climb the hill towards the Sao Jorge Castille, which is perched atop the hill with a commanding view of the area. Alfama is a remnant from Moorish times. It was not destroyed in the earthquake in 1755 and so its higgledy piggledy streets and buildings remain. Some sections were steep but mostly I found it quite manageable. Guess all that camino walking made my legs strong. Speaking of which, I also passed the Church of St James on the hill, which is the church pilgrims are blessed before they set off to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
Sao Jorge retained its original walls, with many internal buildings from later years removed. It’s always nice to see a medieval castle fortification.
View of Lisbon and River Targus
After lunch we caught a tuk tuk to the Museu do Oriente. It was nice to see cultural artefacts from Portugal’s ex-colonies such as Macau, Goa, Japan, Timor, Brazil, Mozambique amongst many more. I forget what a super power Portugal was.
From the museum, we walked dock side towards Belem. It was a very nice walk. The day was cloudy and cool. There were some very nice restaurants along the way but we were too full to eat.