A walk in the park

Even though we are up on a hill we are close to Rua (street) Avenida the central avenue that comes down from a hill in the north to the main shopping area and the river Tejo in the south roughly about 4kms. We sit high up about 500 metres to the west of Rua avenida. The immediate city and old suburbs stretch out also about 2kms in front of us to the east and up […]

By |June 11th, 2014|


Two stocky elderly men sitting slowly strumming their guitars while a young woman sings mournfully with her eyes shut. This is the Fado which is the music that celebrates ‘Portugueseness’ according to Barry Hatton. We sat down to a grilled salmon dinner and watched and listened to four women entertain us in a small family run business on one of ‘those’ streets. Fado means fate and when high hopes are dashed, many will throw up […]

By |June 10th, 2014|

Walking about day

Uphill today because that is where artists are meant to be as at market days but they showed up at neither place. On a later walk we found them accidentally in downhill places. I was looking for something iconic like marble designer pavements or tiled buildings. In the first place I found one but alas he was about to frame it for a friend. In the second place I also found one for $1,000, I’ll […]

By |June 9th, 2014|

Botanico Day

Moving uphill moved us closer to other interesting sites. Behind us there is a graceful set of steps but unlike the Spanish steps in Rome which are wide and go straight, these are more narrow and like Portuguese streets, they wind. Instead of lovers freely holding hands as on the Spanish steps, people of all sorts hold free glasses of wine.

At the top of these steps and to the side are Lisboa’s Botanic Gardens and […]

By |June 8th, 2014|

Market Day

Awoke to a sunrise, a mild day and a huge breakfast before heading off to Santa Apolina and market day. Fairly ordinary eclectic market day offerings but high up on a hill the setting and the cobbled climb were extraordinary. Much of our time was spent exploring behind hidden archways, watching buskers and admiring non touristy side walk two table cafes (breakfast was too big to further imbibe). Our main goal was a local painting […]

By |June 7th, 2014|

Wet Lisboa

Went further uphill today, There must be more cobblestone roads, footpaths, parkways and squares than anywhere in Europe. We’ve walked for hours up so many pathways with as many designs as their are streets, along with as many different coloured tile buildings predominantly blue, green and yellow.

One path led us to the Basilica da Estrella . This is not just for the religious but for the lover of stunning late Baroque and Neoclassical architecture; for […]

By |June 6th, 2014|

Moving uphill

Getting a bit choosy after the Camino ao decided to move instead of a downgrade. Our Ukrainian manager tried to help us but couldn’t so instead of climbing 50 stairs many times daily we have a lift to take us to the top floor with a 220 degree view and if we can’t sleep we can see moon and stars from our bed, and the sunrise. So Lisboa will be our hideaway place where I […]

By |June 5th, 2014|

Where no-one goes

Some back streets are similar to many tourist spots but without all the shops, local people replacing the tourists, houses in their original condition, and that feeling of quiet. That is where we went today, house and people watching up and down more narrow cobble stone streets with more designs, sharing our narrow white footpaths with one wheel of the cars. As I have noted before some places abandoned, not just here but all over […]

By |June 4th, 2014|

Dinner at the palace

We met up with our Portuguese friends who we shared our first room with on the Camino and walked through the beautiful streets of Lisboa as they told us how it had all been rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake. Through tree lined parks, past beautiful fountains, over black and white cobblestones with exquisite designs, across a theatre decorated street that used to be a river to our palace

A real palace handed over to the people […]

By |June 3rd, 2014|

More Camino meetings

I’ve started the book and it confirms the warm and endearing nature of the Portuguese. Our Portuguese friends had already told us so but I put it down to ‘parochial culture bias’ but I was wrong. A popular song here is called “The Portuguese Home’ which sings of their heart warming generosity, while a British travel writer described someone as ‘obliging as a Portuguese’. I walked past one of those ‘menu waving orators’ the other […]

By |June 2nd, 2014|