Here are some snippets of Lisbon life, taken over 5 days in mid-October. We were lucky to have nice weather, which added to the ambiance and beauty of the city. If traveling to Lisbon, be forewarned that sidewalks throughout the city are done in a stone mosaic, and many streets are cobblestone, providing a wobbly, tricky surface to navigate. Good shoes are not only suggested, but required.
Lisbon is also a city of extreme topography. And due to the terrain, it’s not always direct to get from one area to another. Example: we were taking a taxi which had been arranged by our hotel, and were heading southwest of Avenida da Liberdade. So when the driver made a right to head north on the Avenida, we thought he was either mistaken as to our destination, or trying to rip us off, so we directed him back to the hotel. The concierge showed me the Google map which indicated the most bizarre routes, one north, one south, that were anything but simple and direct. Lesson learned!
Parque Eduardo VII sits at the top of the Avenida da Liberdade, a street that is an uphill climb all the way, and the park continues the incline with a duet of pedestrian streets that move up the center. These photos were taken off the beaten path, up the hill past the grassy area inside the park.
At the top end of Parque Eduardo VII is just one of the restaurants (Praia no Parque) in Lisbon that mix into fantastic locales in the city, often with great views.
Casa-Museu Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves: This former mansion beautifully designed in Art Nouveau style now houses a collection of over 3000 artifacts. Period rooms are open to roaming along with traditional displays.
Casa-Museu Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves: Part of the exhibit which featured a collection of elaborate fans made with ivory, lace, and some with exotic ostrich feathers used for seduction. We loved the Fan Language dictionary that accompanied the pieces. Right, an exquisite statue.
Casa-Museu Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves: This room held cases of antique jewelry and decorative boxes, but I thought the room itself was spectacular.
Scenes along the Avenida da Liberdade.
The Avenida da Liberdade is tree-lined with a main roadway in the center and this section dividing the pedestrian section with stores. The water features were designed to represent the two major rivers of Portugal the Tagus and the Douro. Right, one block east of Avenida da Liberdade was a pedestrian street where The One Hotel Palacio was located. These scooters were available to rent and seemed to be all over the city.
One of the stunning Art Nouveau shops in Chiado, where the sidewalks were even more elaborate. Right, located a few blocks below the Avenida da Liberdade’s end is a square whose sidewalks match the ones in Rio de Janeiro. Praça Dom Pedro IV, aka Rossio, has been one of Lisbon’s main squares since the Middle Ages.
Another Art Nouveau shop in Chiado that caught my eye.
En route to the Principe Real neighborhood was a climb from the Avenida da Liberdade involving steep streets and stairs. Right, a graffiti-covered house along the way.
The view from the top of the staircase. Right, more graffiti, this one of a playful nature.
Principe Real: The Botanical Garden of Lisbon felt straight out of Jurassic Park with its oversized palms, ferns, and pre-historic looking craggy trees and cacti of all kinds.
Principe Real: The Botanical Garden of Lisbon’s bamboo section.
Principe Real: I was in the market for some linen napkins, as the quality in Lisbon was ultra fine. So, when we came upon this store, I felt I hit the jackpot. I bought 10 napkins, and when I asked this gentleman when the store opened he took that as a cue to tell the entire story of the shop, which was fascinating. Basically, his mother owned the property next door, and in the mid 1960s this wonderful spot became available. His mother, an expert embroiderer started this business, which at one time employed over 385 workers. One day the shop was visited by L’Oreal’s heiress Liliane Bettencourt, who fell in love with the workmanship and quality and purchased a trousseau for her daughter. She personally spread the word to fellow luminaries, such as Jackie Kennedy and Princess Grace, and to this day, this little shop supplies custom embroidered collections to royalty and the 1% around the globe. Now the shop employs 39 embroiderers, who carry on the legacy. Principe Real Enxovais
Principe Real: A funky jitney for hire. Right, a look into A Cevicheria. If we had more time, I would have loved to dine here.
Principe Real: Coyo Taco, a few shops down beckoned as well.
Principe Real: The extravagant and enormous 100-year old tree with metal supports, in the park. When we walked through here there was a couple with guitars playing lilting Brazilian songs.
This steep incline was not unusual in this city of hills. It must be quite a challenge to build on this base.
Baixa: Along the tourist area which was lush with shops, hotels, and restaurants in the center of the pedestrian street, Rua Augusta. Right, the Praça Dom Pedro IV is bordered by Teatro Nacional D. Maria II where you can see dance shows.
Baixa: Scenes from the pedestrian shopping area which centers on Rua Augusta and the streets parallel, left and right and the side streets. Left is a store that sells only cans of smoked eel. Right, shops and outdoor eating.
Baixa: The bottom of the pedestrian area is marked by a stunning arch, the Arco da Rua Augusta, which leads to an enormous open square, the Praça do Comércio. The monument in the center had two mysterious scenes, which I could not decipher, nor find out what they depicted. One side showed a baby elephant trampling a man, the other side had a horse doing the same.
Parque das Nações at low tide, and a scooter that has seen better days. Right, a warning in Belem for bicyclist to watch for cars.
Belem: the Jerónimos Monastery entryway’s fountain was very attractive to birds.
Belem: Inside the Jerónimos Monastery. The scale of this and intricate detail was breathtaking.
Belem: MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) is a marvel. Note: it is closed on Tuesday (the day we went).
Belem: MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) on the steps. Right, under the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge.
Belem: The main street in this area was divided the walkway next to the river from museums and such on the other side with 4 lanes of traffic and train tracks in the center. Staircases were the only way to get across, and were few and far between.
Belem: Garagem Sul, part of the Belém Cultural Center, focuses on architecture and had a fantastic exhibit that showed a timeline telling the story of how mankind went from a hunting gathering society, to farming, to cities, to the mess that the planet is in now—and some solutions.
Belem: Garagem Sul, the space was a former parking garage, and their exhibit was hung simply.
Belem: Upstairs from the exhibit, the Belém Cultural Center. There was a nice restaurant up here and benches to hang out on around a garden.
Seen walking through the Alcântara neighborhood, on the hunt for LX Factory, seen in the photo on the right.
LX Factory: a complex of shops, restaurants, all with extra-arty touches throughout.
LX Factory: Three barbers pose for me at the Barber Factory.