Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012 Portugal - Lisbon day 2

 walking narrow Alfama streets up to Castelo de Sao Jorge
 even narrow streets with construction in the middle
 we made it to the Castelo and fort turrets overlooking Lisboa
 overlooking the Rio Tajo out toward the Atlantic Ocean 17km away
 talk about panorama
 there is our hotel below us - the one with the purple wall (left centre)
 in the castelo a great museum and archeological dig of pre-Roman, Roman, Moor and medieval ruins
 then in our hotel, our stairwell (we are on the POP floor)
and outside our hotel - a rock concert celebrating VII Festival Internacional Mascara (Masks) Iberica

Yes, you read it correctly - another rock concert outside out hotel - this time in Lisbon. We saw them setting up the sound stage this morning and now at almost 11 pm the music is going strong. However, this hotel has better soundproofing, the music is aimed away from us and the crowd does not seem so rowdy as Coimbra - so we may not need our ear plugs AND our scarves.

Today we had a lovely breakfast in the hotel. There are lots of people staying here - all ages. Then we walked up the steep cobbled roads to the Castelo Sao Jorge which is very interesting. Once again it had pre-Roman history, plus Moorish and medieval remains. A lot of it fell down in the 1755 earthquake and it was restored in the early 20th century by Salazar - so not much is authentic - but it has lots of walls and battlements and fantasitc views over the city of Lisbon. The view of the red tiled roofs and the windows of the old city stand out against the distant skyscrapers of  the new areas. The scene is almost unreal. The castelo also has a good Moorish museum with pottery and artefacts from that period plus good descriptions in English. We also visited the Se Cathedral.

Mike just read in one of our guidebooks that the Muslims were the great traders who brought precious metals, silks and spices to Europe up until the 14th century. The Portuguese started their explorations of Africa, India, China and the new world after they discovered that the Muslims didn't actually have all those products. Interesting. 

We had dinner at a sidewalk cafe near our hotel and had a bit of a chat with some people on holiday here from Brazil. The weather was cloudy and the temperature in the low 80's -so nice for walking around. It looks as if there will be no rain for the rest of our stay. This is quite a busy tourist city - at least the part where we are staying.

No comments:

Post a Comment