10 September 2019
What a day!
Last night over dinner we put together a list of things we must see and do in Lisbon.
We wrote the list in what we thought would be the “line of best fit” and realised we were being a bit ambitious. If we got half of the list covered we would be doing well.
We caught the train from Sintra to Rossio Station in the centre of Lisbon.
Apparently every other tourist in Europe had the same plan. I thought the summer holidays were over here and life in Portugal would return to a less frantic pace.
It didn’t help that three cruise ships were in port. There were people everywhere. We have had to queue for things. Not happy.
We headed towards the Targus River to see what we could see. Even more tourists!!
An Uber to Belém saved a little time and a long, hot walk. We had four things on the list in this area. Two monuments, one church and, saving the best to last, one of the busiest and best patisserie shops in town.
It was impossible to get a photo without taking one of all my newfound friends as well.
Mind you, people watching could be new favourite pastime. The selfies, the selfie sticks, the model poses, the hair flicks, the jumping in the air with a monument in the background. We saw it all!
We were told to look out for a fountain on our way to Jerónimos Monastery. It was hard to miss!
The queue for the monastery was hideous. We opted for the shorter queue and visited the attached church instead.
Now for some serious ‘touristing’. One of the longest queues led us to the “Pastéis de Belém” reknowned for it’s Pastel de Nata (Portuguese Tarts) !
The interior of the shop was a maze of dining areas, serving areas and cooking areas. There were at least 500 people feasting on divine pastries!!
The Time Out Markets, back towards the city, had been recommended as the place to have lunch. Once again, news had gotten out and all our tourist friends arrived earlier than us and took all the seats in the massively massive food hall. Such a cool place, with food outlets serving every type of cuisine known to man, surrounding the great hall. We eventually found a table outside, which , although missing the ambience of a few thousand people dining together, was quieter and cooler.
Fully fed and watered, we thought it was time to stand in another line. And boy, did we spend a lot of time in it. Obviously others had too!
The line finally led us to the base of the Santa Justa lift.
The view from the top was amazing and well and truly made up for the time spent enjoying the wait.
Time was now running out and we still had things on our “to do” list.
Mithyl took us to a shop filled with all different variations of tinned sardines. She was on a mission to get there before the shop closed . Of course, it was crowded, but once we made it to the counter it was very easy to part with our cash. Grahame bought four, to be enjoyed over the coming week, whilst Mithyl bought a lot more for family back in France.
A mad dash to Castelló de São Jorge involved a quick, but expensive Tuk tuk ride. We wanted to make it there before it closed at what I thought was 6 pm. Turned out it closed at 9 pm!
As castle ruins go, these were pretty good and provided great views over Lisbon and the Targus River.
Footsore and exhausted, we checked our list and admitted defeat.
We were not going to the Cathedral (We’ve seen a fair few recently, so not overly disappointed) , nor will we have time to ride the famous Number 28 tram.
We did see it though, so that will have to do.