Lisbon, Portugal

March 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Travel destinations

Most major cities have some type of hop-on hop-off bus tour…Lisbon is no exception.

DSCF2125aSo let’s hop on the Red Line and get an overview of Portugal’s capital.

We begin our tour at the Marquis of Pombal Square.DSCF2240b

The bus heads north (away from the river) and soon takes us past a lovely building  which reminds one of the Moorish influence on architecture in this part of the world. This is Campo Pequeno. (Remember you can click on any photo to enlarge it.)


Campo Pequeno is built in a circular shape and is very large . Hmm…what might it be used for? Yes, of course. It is a bullring (as well as a venue to hold large concerts). Plus there is a shopping mall underneath!

A little farther on we drive past a large park-like area which is home to the Gulbenkian Gallery.DSCF2325a

Note to self: Must come back to visit this renowned art gallery.

Oh, I recognize this! We are looking over Eduardo VII Park and down there is the square we began the tour at.


Driving downhill (literally) we soon arrive down at the waterfront

and find ourselves on the banks of the Tagus River.

Aside: It took me a while to realize that Rio Tejo and Tagus River were one in the same place (one is Portuguese, one in English).

DSCF2246aDo you recognize this building?

I had seen it in photos before (and on one episode of The Amazing Race!) but did not know its name…Belem Tower (Torre de Belem).

Some distance east of the tower we can see this landmark. Recognize it?DSCF2241bYes, it is the Monument to the Discoveries (padrao dos descobrimentos).

We walk over for a closer look and admire the carvings of famous Portuguese walking up the “ramp” of the ship. The monument represents a sailing ship (see the sails?) ready to depart on a voyage of discovery.DSCF2243a

At the top of the ramp is Prince Henry the Navigator followed by other notables, not only in exploration, but also from the fields of science, literature, etc.

Aside: Remember when we were in Sagres in southern Portugal we visited the navigational school founded/sponsored by Prince Henry.

Across the street from the monument is a former monastery that provided comfort and aid to sailors (perfect location, eh). It was home to the order of Saint Jerome and is fittingly named Jeronimos Monastery.DSCF2164a

The tomb of Vasco da Gama is here in the former monastery.

Back on the bus for a drive through the Belem district with all its little shops, restaurants, etc. It is not difficult to imagine that this low laying area could have been devastated by a tsunami (which it was way back in 1755.)

There is Commerce Square (Praca do Comercio)DSCF2178a

Let’s get off again to explore this area.

There used to be a palace here but it was destroyed in the earthquake and tsunami in 1755. The royal family had been on a visit into the countryside so fortunately escaped harm…but the king refused to rebuild here. (Wise man, was he not)

Thus during the rebuilding of the area this became a showpiece square. Traders aboard the sailing ships landing here must have been impressed!

Aside: The square has a “dark” historical side too. Indulge your researcher personality and learn the history of the square.

The statue in the centre of the square is of King Jose I (Joseph I). (Hint: click on the photo for a closer view) DSCF2180a

 This is the Arco da Rua Augusta

(which is the arch leading to/from Augusta street).

Let’s walk up the street and see what we can find.

DSCF2185aNow, this looks good.

Yeap…it’s good!

(but the coffee comes in a rather small cup doesn’t it)DSCF2262a

 Tomorrow let’s take the Blue line hop-on hop-off bus and see where it takes us. Click here to join us.


Want to see more of Portugal? Click here.


Want to see more of the world? Click here.

Happy travels!

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