Monday, February 17, 2014

Lisbon, Portugal: The Parish of Belem

Actual date of this event: 7 February
{Belem Tower}
Luke and I flew TAP Portugal from Gatwick to Lisbon. It was actually about a 2.5 hour flight, probably the longest non-stop flight we have had so far - seriously, how awesome is it that we can get a non-stop flight to pretty much anywhere! (scratch that idea for Krakow though, grrr) We also love that we can be pretty picky and choose airlines where we earn miles! We are soooo thankful for that! Anyway, when we arrived at the Lisbon airport, we bought our 48 hour unlimited public transport passes (6euro per person per 24 hours) allowing us to "zap" in out and of buses, trams, funiculars, and the metro. We made our via metro to the city center to arrive at our AirBnB apartment in Bairro Alto. Our apartment had some expected nighttime noise, but there was a ridiculous view, and it was ridiculously cheap!
{the buildings are so close together - I love it!!}
{all right it may not look like much in a picture, but I swear it was awesome in person!}
The weather was fantastic - 60*F and sunny! This was why we chose to go to Lisbon during this time of year, and I am so glad that it was exactly what we expected :-) Note: Rain jackets don't always hold up well in Portugal's downpours... umbrellas are necessary! We decided to check out Belem first since it was a bit farther out of Lisbon. We walked to Cais do Sodre station and took an old tram and a new tram to the monastery. We loved that we could see water at the ends of some of the streets, and the cobblestone ground was so pretty with different designs!

The Jeronimos Monastery is a beautiful and huge building! We walked around its exterior, but decided not to go inside.

Funny story: Luke was just starting to take pictures of the anchor in the picture below...
... a guy walked and stopped right in the view of Luke's pictures so he could take his own pictures of the anchor. (Luke was able to avoid him on the right side in this picture, just barely). So you know what I did? I went and stood in that guy's view of his pictures for like 30 seconds. Muahahaha! Yep, I am going to hell, but at least I gave my hubby a good laugh :-)
Next we headed to the shoreline where the Discoveries Monument is located.
It is possible to go up to the top of the monument, but we chose not to. I wish we would have though because that blue sky was perfect for it!

From here we could see, in the distance, the Ponte de 25 Abril (April 25th Bridge) and Cristo Rei (similar to the Christ statue in Rio de Janerio).

We continued west, walking along the water and made our way to Belem Tower.

{chihuahua's hold tiny buckets in their mouths to ask for change}
Everything seemed so calm in this area... besides that Atlantic wind! I imagine it is pretty packed during the summer though. It was so relaxing, and the sun made it so much better! 

I've mentioned in previous posts that my knee had been bothering me. Well, I relaxed it all week in preparation for lots of walking, specifically up and down hills and stairs that are unavoidable in Lisbon. That went out the window within the first two hours of being in Lisbon, and I was hobbling around in Belem. We also jumped right into exploring without eating anything, so both of us were dying for an early dinner. Due to my knee and what felt like a tape worm, our time in Belem was cut a bit shorter than it should have been. We left out a few things such as The Royal Palace, Pasteis de Belem, Jardim de Afonso Albuquerque and some museums which we didn't really care about anyway hah! We went to the nearest tram stop to hitch a ride back into the Lisbon city center. When we got there, our first task was to have some liquid calories. 
More to come...

Lisbon gets about 8-9 hours of sunshine per day. PER.DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (that deserves way more explanation marks that I put)

More posts on Lisbon: Sneak Peek, Miradouros, Baixa, Alfama, Bairro Alto

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