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The Style of Iberian Peninsula | Tour Guide Through Many Faces of Lisbon

I always wanted to know Lisbon. I do not know why, it was one of those places that attracted me without a specific reason, maybe for something as simple as the musicality of its name ("Lisboa", you just have to love the way it sounds). The Portuguese writer Manuel de Melo said that it is "a good that is suffered and an evil that is enjoyed" when trying to describe Lisbon in one sentence. And I felt that Lisbon was going to be something like that like the “Saudade” that made the city.

Colonial Glory That Shines in Numerous Colors



Nearly all of us arrive in Portuguese capital with certain images in our minds that we expect to find just as we land on its soil. I also went with certain perceptions in my head, with scraps of a Lisbon that I had seen only on postcards and had simply heard in stories about exciting Lisbon bachelor parties.

In the relaxing walks throughout its historic streets, I wanted to find cats in the windows, women watching life pass from their balcony, street musicians, uphill cobblestone streets, yellow streetcars, unpainted walls with mosaics and remnants of the Arab past. And you guessed it, I have found just the thing.

Arriving in a new city gives me that feeling (exciting and exasperating at the same time) that the days spend there will not reach me in the way to see everything I want. The good thing about that is that there are always excuses to revisit them but the primary goal was to witness as much as I could from the first arrival.

When we arrived and went to our accommodation and the first thing that popped up in my mind was that this city is the perfect setting for a Woody Allen movie. How is it possible that I have not filmed anything here yet? I kept reminding my self with that question as I nervously pulled out a camera and tried to record as much as I can.

 


The accommodation in which we stayed the first night was not just any house, it was one of those that are known as "The House of the People". Old and with many rooms, with people from all around the world, pans the size of basins full of rice, neighbors coming and going, crowds visiting to see the movie projection on a Tuesday night, mattresses on the floor, pictures on the walls, a bathroom larger than a living room and a floor that creaked every time someone walked. Entering there was like entering Lisbon through a very local large door.The Real Adventure Was About to Start



We left the place and the real adventure unfolded when we parked next to a restaurant near the Belém tower (free parking although the area is very busy) then went to visit it and we also took the opportunity to visit the Monastery of Belém. Located at the mouth of the Tagus River, the Belém Tower was built in 1514 under the rule of King Manuel I of Portugal.

It was one of the towers that defended access to the city by the Tagus River, although over time it became a customs center. In 1983 it was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. Next, to the Tower of Belém, I found this striking monument, which commemorates the exploit of Sacadura Cabral and Gago Coutinho, two aviators who crossed the South Atlantic by plane for the first time, in 1922 from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro.

Located next to the Tagus River, this 52m high monument to the Discoveries was built in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator (discoverer of Madeira, the Azores, and Cape Verde). If we observe the monument, we will see that it has the shape of a caravel, Enrique the Navigator stands on the prow of this with a caravel in his hands, in the two rows of descendants are sculptures of characters strongly linked to the naval discoveries.

 


In the nearby surrounding, I found The Monastery of the Jerónimos de Belém that was commissioned by King Manuel I of Portugal to commemorate the return of Vasco de Gama de las Indias. The Monastery began to be built in 1501 and in 1983 it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. It is undoubtedly one of the places with the greatest tourist attraction in Lisbon. From this area you have a beautiful view of the famous Lisbon bridge, "Puente 25 de Abril", considered one of the main symbols and icons of the city of Lisbon.

This bridge was built by the same company that built the San Francisco Bridge, hence its great resemblance. After that visit, we returned to the car and this time we did head towards the apartment. We prepared ourselves and went for a walk to the center of Lisbon, from the high district there are about 10 -15min and it really is the best option, because to circulate and park in the center can be problematic.

I had heard that in Lisbon there were some horrible hills, but the truth is that the road to the center was quite good. Although yes, we saw some great slope for the mythical streetcars of Lisbon, and these are undoubtedly one of the great attractions of this city (they are always loaded with tourists).

Once we arrived at the center, we took full advantage of what the day gave us so we could walk around Lisbon. We got to see several of the most important points of Lisbon, overlooking some places like the famous Castle of St. George, located in the historic center of Lisbon, on the hill that bears the same name.


The castle can be seen from different points, but they say that from it you can enjoy the best views of the city. The Plaza del Comercio was the first place we went to, the most important square in the city. Here was located the royal palace, which was destroyed by the famous Lisbon earthquake of 1755. It is located next to the Tagus River and was undoubtedly one of the best entrances to the city. In our walk through the center of Lisbon, I visited many other places, you can discover all these in every "Traveling to Lisbon" section, remember also to visit the Lisbon group of the Travel Community.
   

Here you will find all the photographs of our passage through this beautiful city, and if you want it, you can also share yours to offer new perspectives to other travelers. It was in these moments when I wrote my own review in the book that we all felt exhausted from the long walks and decided to dine in the nearby charming restaurant overlooking the amazing landscape. For anyone planning to see many faces of Lisbon, I recommend that you take two or three days to fully explore this magical place since it will surely get under your skin and never leave your mind.

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