Friday, 16 February 2018

Lisbon, Portugal (Double Tree by Hilton – Lisbon, Fontana Park)

What a beautiful day! Perfect weather for a long walk to the Alfama district, located down by the Tagus river. But first, breakfast! I’m really enjoying the breakfasts here and now the staff know what I like and can expect to have coffee with milk and a glass of orange juice waiting for me when I return with my plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, and two croissants.

I enjoy the walk down to the old part of the city, primarily because it is an easy walk. Very little need to check my location since I can recognize parts of the city to guide me along the route. When I got to Praca do Comercio (Commercial Square), I stopped by my favorite place for tea with a couple of Lisbon cream tarts. And to use their restroom, since there are few public restrooms available.

On my way to the square, I got a good picture of the old lift that I visited last week.

After my rest, tea and tarts, I was ready to continue my walk to Alfama, a short distance away. While walking to Alfama I came upon a colorful street with interesting buildings. I’ll have to come back this way on my return to see one building in particular, up-close. I rested next near the train station and saw the back of the Military Museum and took a picture of this building from this side. I also took another restroom break in the train station.

I really didn’t have a plan while walking through this part of Lisbon. I thought walking down through the flat part of Alfama, then walking up along the hillside would give me the best cross-section of this area. Above me I saw a church with a large dome, so I headed up there. It was quite a climb, but fortunately made easier with a few stairs along the way.

Just before I reached the domed building I saw a large tiled mosaic on a wall. It contained a variety of colorful images.

When I arrived the domed building I learned it was named Panteon Nacional (National Pantheon) and was originally a 17th-century baroque church (Church of Santa Engrácia) that has been turned into a modern-day mausoleum for tombs of national celebrities. I didn’t go inside.

On my walk through Alfama, I took pictures of some of the streets.    

I returned to the colorful buildings that I saw earlier. I took a closer look at the building that looks like it was painted with a 3-D design. Turns out that each of the “dots” is actually a diamond-shaped stone that make up the building’s facade. Some of the stone’s points have been broken off on the lower portion of the building.

Below is a building that remains after the 1775 quake. Just the facade remains.

By this time, it was nearly 4:00 and thought I should start getting back to the hotel and perhaps have some dinner, which I had at my favorite Chinese fast food place.

In one of the Metro stations, I came upon an escalator that had a flat part halfway down the stairs. Don’t think I’ve seen this before. A couple in front of me commented on this interesting feature. Was a little weird standing on the escalator stairs then have it flatten out and turn back into stairs before landing on the floor below.

After a nap I worked on my travel blog posting. I followed up on some hotels in NYC where I might stay as part of my return trip to Europe in April. Some of the airfares from NYC to Dublin are less than $200. Then, if I was to fly from Dublin to Warsaw, the fares are around $50 for a one-way trip. But first, I need to secure my 63,000 American Airline miles before I can book any flights.

I watched a couple of episodes of Orville before bedtime. Tomorrow I’m not going to do any touring. I have some laundry I’d like to do before traveling up to Porto tomorrow. The weather is expected to be overcast with a good chance of rain. Perfect day to relax and do what I want.


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