Saturday, November 6, 2010

Portugal, Part Two - the Capital, Lisbon

From the Algarve we headed to the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. I was pretty pumped about Lisbon because I didn't have any expectations and for some reason I just thought it would be a cool city. Lisbon did not disappoint.  With our trusty Rick Steves' Portugal guide book we were off on a night stroll.

For those of you that don't know Lisbon is the city of seven hills. They had these funiculars everywhere.
  
Some of the coolness that is Lisbon. It was just one of those cities that has an awesome vibe from food, to art and just walking around.

After getting off the funicular this was our view overlooking the city. Can you say amazing?

From here we decided it was time to try some Port Wine. My mom had told me all about it and I wanted to see what it was about. All over Portugal you can get Port Wine, but the real place to get it is Porto (We did that later). More on Port Wine in the Porto post.

This is the Elevador de Santa Justa which was built by a student of Gustav Eiffel, you can guess what he was famous for.

Rossi Square. One thing I loved about Portugal were the titled sidewalks. You can kind of see the black and white wave title here. They said in the past people didn't like it because it made them seasick.

The following day we went on a great tour called We Hate Tourism tours and if you only have a few days in Lisbon this was a great way to see some of the sights outside the city.We took the X day trip and  for 30 euros we rode all around Lisbon in a yellow van for seven hours and it included lunch and a famous pastry called Pastel de Belem or Pastel de Nata as it is known outside of Belem.

First stop was the town of Sintra and this hillside town is definitely worth the trip.

This is inside the Pena Palace parkgrounds. Here is the statue of the warrior, who guards the place.

I don't know if this does the actual sight any justice, but this was one of the entrances at the Pena Palace. It was a under the seas theme with coral, shells, and a giant sea troll. It looked really cool close up.

Here is the actual palace. It was build by Prince Ferdinand who was cousin to King Ludwig who built the Neuschwanstein castle outside of Munich. The royal family lived in this palace until 1910.

After the palace we headed to Cabo da Roca for beautiful views and a traditional Portuguese lunch.

Next was Cascais to experience a locals only beach.

The trip wouldn't be complete without "the best ice cream in the world" at Santini. It was pretty good, but it is hard to beat Italian gelato.

Our last stop was the town of Belem. Here is the Monument to the Discoveries with Henry the Navigator leading the way.

No tour is complete without a moustache.

How can you not love a tour in a van like this? Our tour guide Sandra was excellent and I would tell anyone to hop on this van for a tour.

Lastly before heading to Porto we made one last stop at the Gulbenkian Museum. This was a museum full of one guys personal collection and it was absolutely incredible. It covered the time period of 2,500 B.C. to 2000. It included work from Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Islamic World, the Far East, Medieval Europe, Renaissance and Baroque paintings. I am sorry we didn't take any pictures, but just trust me it was something to see. I wish we had maybe one more day in Lisbon, but from what I did see I loved it. 

Final stop Porto!

--Marisa

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