I arrived in Lisbon last evening. Lisbon is one hour earlier than the rest of continental Europe so I get one more hour of sunlight at the end of each day! And that’s great because Spring has sprung here!
Marta, a lovely young woman, associated with Olivier the manager, met me at the airport. She’s a good guide and she pointed out places and gave me lots of info (which went in one ear and out the other because I was so tired). She’s came back this morning and drove me around town a bit. We went to the covered city market where I got fresh fruit and vegetables at very low prices (ex.: huge sweet oranges from Spain for 25 cents each.) That market was about to be closed forever when a publishing company took it over, revived it and turned half of the space into a food hall. Rather like “permanent food trucks” cooks from many parts of the world offer their favorites in small-kitchen booths. This is right on the riverfront so it’s a hit with tourists coming off the big cruise ships that dock here much of the year as well as with local people.
Next we went to a supermarket to fill the things I couldn’t buy in the fresh-food market. Next Marta took me on a driving tour of the town. Finally we sat with a city map which she marked for me with suggestions, bus details, and other helpful information. She really has made this stop much better for me already and she’s also made me feel more confident as I go exploring.
Marta had other plans for the afternoon so I set off on my own, following her directions. Lisbon’s most famous tourist icon is the ancient tram network that still serve the narrow streets. I boarded the one by my house and rode it across town, then walked much of the way back with camera in hand.
This week I’m staying in the “Alfama” district of Lisbon. This city was wrecked by an earthquake and tsunami in 1755 and most of the old town was replaced in the years that followed. The area called the Alfama was not destroyed and not replaced – it survives today as the oldest section of Lisbon. I am renting a small studio that includes a comfortable bed, a work/dining table and two chairs, a quite complete kitchen and bathroom. (Some of you have said you like seeing where I’m staying so here’s the Trip Advisor page with photos of this place.) It is located on a street so hilly and narrow that cars can’t come here and the streets are really stairways.
More to come!