Lisbon Journals

Bill in Portugal - LISBON

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A December 2002 trip to Lisbon by billmoy

Belem Tower/Torre de Belem Photo, Lisbon, Portugal More Photos
Quote: Lisbon is the cosmopolitan capital of Portugal. After its decline due to a cataclysmic earthquake in 1755, Lisbon has been gradually improving its overall standards of living while the nation has been a member of the European Union. The city is spelled Lisboa in Portuguese.

Bill in Portugal - LISBON

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Overview

Lisbon Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
Lisbon is famous for (in no particular order): azulejos (colorful hand-painted ceramic tiles on building facades, usually with a predominantly blue tint), fado (a melancholy style of song popular in nightclubs), and bacalhau (dried salt cod, which can apparently be prepared and served in hundreds of ways to please the Portuguese palate). The World Expo ‘98 breathed new life into an area east of the old town center. New landmarks from the 1998 Lisbon World Exposition include the popular Parque das Nacoes (Park of Nations) and the striking Estacao do Oriente train station by my favorite architect/engineer, Santiago Calatrava. Many of these superb photos of Lisbon and...Read More

Sana Classic Capitol

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Hotel | "Sana Capitol"

Quote:
This moderate hotel is on a hard-to-locate side street in Lisbon, not far from the Parque Eduardo VII and the Marques de Pombal Square. It has 57 rooms and seven floors, with two small elevators. The hotel was built in 1960 and renovated in 1997. The front desk sells a small selection of postcards, but you can get some handy pocket maps and tourist brochures for free here or in the adjacent sitting lounge. Our decent-sized room with two twin beds had operable windows, a small TV loaded with many channels, a minibar, a hair dryer, and a manual safe in the closet (ask for the key at the front desk, for a nominal fee). The bathroom is showing a bit of age, as the cold-water faucet in the sink has ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 29, 2002

Sana Classic Capitol
RUA ECA DE QUEIROZ 24
Lisbon, Portugal
351 21 3536811

Antiga Confeitaria de Belem

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Restaurant

Antiga Confeitaria de Belem Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
Antiga Confeitaria de Belem is a must if you are in Belem and enjoy tasting foreign goodies. This legendary pastry shop has been serving customers since 1837. Its trademark treat is the Pasteis de Belem (also called pasteis de nata), sort of a cross between custard flan and a tart. In fact, it seems to be strikingly similar to the delicious egg custard tart found at most Chinese dim sum restaurants. The few people who know the heavily guarded secret recipe have to sign a contract that prevents them from passing it around. You can order your items to take away, or you can choose to eat them at the bustling stand-up counter or one of the tables in the vast string of interior dining rooms. Some may...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 29, 2002

Antiga Confeitaria de Belem
Rua De Belem 84-92
Lisbon, Portugal
351-21-3638077

Beira-Gare

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Restaurant | "Beira Gare"

Quote:
This diner-restaurant is located very close to the Rossio train station in central Lisbon. It features an extensive menu (with listings in several languages, plus some items depicted with color photos) in a very casual setting. The tables have clever napkin containers shaped like cans of soda. There are lavatories in the basement that you reach via a winding little staircase. The first thing the waiter presents to you is a basket with bread and other small items. This is called the couvert and it is not complimentary! As we found out during a trip to Brazil (a former Portuguese colony), you are charged for every item you consume from this sort of basket--so if you do not really want any b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 29, 2002

Beira-Gare
R. Primeiro de Dezembro
Lisbon, Portugal 1200
213 420 405

Nobre Buffet Tapinhas Bar

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Restaurant

Nobre Buffet Tapinhas Bar Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
This cozy place in the Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama presents an extensive Portuguese buffet in a cafeteria setting. However, there is not one lump-sum "all-you-can-eat" price for a meal. You are charged by weight, so the more you take, the higher your tab. It may be hard to gauge how much you'll be spending on food here, so choose only items that you think you will really eat. To compound matters, most everything in the buffet looks good, though there are no labels to identify unfamiliar food items. The cold items include many vegetables, salads, and the like. The warm items include selections of meats, seafood, and vegetables. I enjoyed a scooping of feijoada, a popular Brazilian dish ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 29, 2002

Nobre Buffet Tapinhas Bar
Av. D Joao II, Level 3
Lisbon, Portugal
0

O Cacho Dourado

Restaurant

Quote:
This fairly inexpensive restaurant is located just a bit east of the Marques de Pombal round-point and the Sana Capitol hotel on a tiny little side street that even a taxi driver may not immediately know how to reach. Having said this much about the location, if you are in the area, have a go at this restaurant. The staff of O Cacho Dourado is helpful, but very limited English is spoken here. The menu features many seafood dishes, but there are other selections for landlubbers. The dining room interior is simply but cheerfully decorated, and the clientele seems to consist of mainly boisterous neighborhood locals. There are plenty of soups and interesting Portuguese dishes on the menu...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 30, 2002

O Cacho Dourado
Rua Eca de Queiroz 5
Lisbon, Portugal
351/21-3543671

EXPO '98 area

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Attraction | "Parque das Nacoes (Part 1)"

EXPO '98 area Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
Lisbon was rediscovered anew as the host city of the ocean-themed World Expo '98. This vast site of the 1998 Lisbon World Exposition has now been recycled as the extremely popular Parque das Nacoes (Park of Nations). This "invented city" seems to be wildly successful for the most part, as its multi-level Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama is quite a drawing card for locals of all ages. This shopping center was designed by Jose Manuel Quintela Fonseca. Even if you do not spend a cent here, go to some of the viewing platforms for excellent views of the Parque, the river, and Calatrava's Oriente Station. Once you escape past the alluring stores, food emporiums, and movie theaters, you can descend upon...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 29, 2002

EXPO '98 area
Off the red "Oriente" metro-line
Lisbon, Portugal

Estacao do Oriente

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Attraction

Estacao do Oriente Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
I remember visualizing images of this transportation complex at an architecture exhibit in Chicago, and some of them looked magically unreal. This crystalline station was a big lure for me to visit Lisbon. If you are coming into town via long-distance bus or train, this may be your first striking impression of Lisbon. Santiago Calatrava, the great architect/engineer from Valencia, Spain, designed this station with a look that evokes and perhaps surpasses the grand image of train travel in the old days. It is the new transportation hub of Lisbon, as it is a connection point for the vast networks of trains, buses, and metro. As the end station of the fairly new red Oriente line on the metro, the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 29, 2002

Estacao do Oriente
Avenida D Joao II
Lisbon, Portugal

Elevador de Santa Justa

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Attraction

Elevador de Santa Justa Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
This lift in the center of Lisbon's popular Baixa district has been a welcome transport device for locals, but now it is basically a tourist attraction. But what an attraction it is, as the views from the top are breathtaking and you can see practically all of Lisbon from here. You can buy an individual ticket here, but as long as you are bopping about town, buy an all-day Carris-Metro transit pass good for the metro, buses, trams, and even lifts and this elevator. On first glance, this device looks like some gloomy, top-heavy automaton. Raul Mesnier du Ponsard, a protege of Gustave Eiffel, engineered its Gothic wrought-iron design in 1902. It is not nearly as graceful as the famous Eiffel Tower...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 29, 2002

Elevador de Santa Justa
Rua do Ouro at Rua de Santa Justa
Lisbon, Portugal

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (Jeronimos Monastery)

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Attraction | "Mosteiro dos Jeronimos"

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (Jeronimos Monastery) Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
Belem is not quite a suburb of Lisbon. It does have its own identity as the main launching point for Portugal's golden Age of Discoveries. The great explorer Vasco da Gama (lately his name has been attached to a high-rise, a bridge, and a shopping center in the Expo '98 area) departed Belem in 1497 in search of India. In celebration of Portugal's new status in the world, Dom Manuel I sponsored the design and construction of the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (Monastery of Jeronimos). This is considered the architectural masterpiece of the Manueline style (a mix of Gothic and early Renaissance details), and bears the name of Manuel I. The monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Building, was begun in 1502. Th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 29, 2002

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (Jeronimos Monastery)
Praca do Imperio
Lisbon, Portugal 1400-206
+351 (21) 3620034

Belem Tower/Torre de Belem

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Attraction | "Torre de Belem and Monument to the Discoveries"

Belem Tower/Torre de Belem Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
These two structures, one old and one new, are glorious riverside monuments in Belem near the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos. The Torre de Belem, a UNESCO World Heritage Building, looks like a floating white chess piece along the waterside. It was formerly connected to the land, but due to beach erosion, there is now a small bridge that provides access to the tower. It is about 500 meters in front of the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and served as a harbor fortress at the port. Constructed from 1515 to 1519, the Manueline-style tower was designed by Francisco de Arruda, who had developed some fortification designs in Morocco. Therefore, the Torre de Belem shows a bit of Moorish influence, with balconies, domes...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 29, 2002

Belem Tower/Torre de Belem
Avenida Da Brasilia
Lisbon, Portugal

Castle of St. George (Castle of São Jorge)

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Attraction | "Castelo de Sao Jorge and Alfama"

Castle of St. George (Castle of São Jorge) Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
Alfama is the oldest and perhaps most medieval of Lisbon's central districts. It is hilly, twisting, and has some of its original Arabic influences. Its most noticeable landmark is the Castelo de Sao Jorge, but the area as a whole is interesting to explore on foot. Perhaps the best way to start is to hop on the historic number 28 tram to go up the steep streets. You will be amazed at some of the narrow spaces that the creaky tram will squeeze and grunt through. Once you have reached the top, you can go up to the Castelo de Sao Jorge. Otherwise, you can wander downhill along the tram's serpentine path or branch off judiciously along some cobblestone alleys for some surprising explorations. If you...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 29, 2002

Castle of St. George (Castle of São Jorge)

Lisbon, Portugal

EXPO '98 area

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Attraction | "Parque das Nacoes (Part 2)"

EXPO '98 area Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
(Continued from part 1) The Parque das Nacoes is vast, so a fun way of going from one end to the other is by riding the Lisbon cable car, whisking you overhead from one end to another. You can see various landmarks below, like the slender reflecting pool lined with the flags of many nations. The plazas have colorful sculptures by over 20 artists, including several mesmerizing rolling water "volcano" sculptures. There is an information booth near the Atlantic Pavilion with good brochures. There is even a printed list of the architects who have contributed to the design of the Parque das Nacoes. Other landmarks at the Parque das Nacoes include the Lisbon Oceanarium, designed ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2002

EXPO '98 area
Off the red "Oriente" metro-line
Lisbon, Portugal