Tag Archives: Lisbon

L = Lisbon

A to Z Ports: Lisbon, Portugal

The port of Lisbon is very popular with cruise ship lines. Most ships will dock at Doca de Alcantara, which is near the 25th of April bridge, which is very similar to the San Francisco Bridge. There is no reason to stay on the ship with all that Lisbon has to offer!

Most ships spending the day in port will offer a shuttle to Praca do Comercio near the pedestrian area of central Lisbon. This is a very central location and easy place to find transit to other areas of Lisbon. Two trams are of special notice, if you have limited time in Lisbon, Tram No. 28 is a old-fashioned wooden tram that goes to the Castelo de Sao Jorge and Tram 15 goes to the Belem area.

 

Here is my past post about Lisbon.

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Y is for Y más: a review of my top five places

y

Y más or “and more …” is my review of my top favorite places to visit — as least at of today! Here is my countdown…

Number Five:  Cadiz, Spain! I was so surprised at the  beauty and walk-ability of Cadiz. At to that a Fortress named after my patron saint that is constructed in a star shape, beautiful beaches and great seafood — what more could I want!

IMG_4023

Number Four: Lisbon has beautiful architecture, twisting streets, great museums, amazing music and, of course, good food and wine!

Number Three: Buenos Aires with it different neighborhoods, tango all night, and friendly people — I think I lost part of my heart there!

Number Two: Cuba!  I am still dreaming about Cuba and all it has to offer. I love Cuba and her people. Viva Cuba!

And number one should not be a shock to anyone who has read my blog … BARCELONA! If I could, this is where I would like to live. Architecture, people, beaches, food, night life, museums, concerts — it has everything I love (and did I mention football and Camp Nou?).

 

A to Z Challenge: L = Lisbon

L = Lisbon & my favs

LI love Lisbon! It is very easy to get around, the architecture is stunning and the food is wonderful.  What’s not to like! Here are some of my favourite things in Lisbon.

My favourite place to stay is the Living Lounge Hostel is just off the pedestrian streets in the centre of Lisbon. This hostel has the feel of a very comfortable boutique hotel and, for a solo traveler; there is an option of a single room! Each room was designed and decorated by a different artist, many of whom are associated with the hostel. And they offer fantastic dinners for just a little extra. This is a great place to stay and close to many attractions and transit.

Want a trip back in time and a great view?  Take the tram up to the Castelo de Sao Jorge. I loved walking through the castle and taking in the views.

View from the Castelo de Sao Jorge
View from the Castelo de Sao Jorge
View from the Castelo de Sao Jorge
View from the Castelo de Sao Jorge
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Castelo de Sao Jorge
Castelo de Sao Jorge
View from the Castelo de Sao Jorge
View from the Castelo de Sao Jorge

The Santa Justa Elevator is a about a block away from the Living Lounge Hostel and is another great way to see the city.  If it reminds you of the Eiffel Tower, it should because it was designed by an apprentice to Gustave Eiffel. It connects the central downtown area to the Bario Alto.

Santa Justa Elevator
Santa Justa Elevator
Santa Justa Elevator
Santa Justa Elevator
Santa Justa Elevator
Stairs leading to the top platform of the Santa Justa Elevator
View of the castle from the Santa Justa Elevator
View of the castle from the Santa Justa Elevator
View of the castle from the Santa Justa Elevator
View of the castle from the Santa Justa Elevator
View of the castle from the Santa Justa Elevator
View of the castle from the Santa Justa Elevator
View of the opera house and Plaza from the Santa Justa Elevator
View of the opera house and Plaza from the Santa Justa Elevator

Here are a few of my favourite photos of Lisbon.

Gate to downtown Lisbon
Gate to downtown Lisbon
Beautiful tilework on building in Lisbon
Beautiful tilework on building in Lisbon
Pedestrian area in downtown Lisbon
Pedestrian area in downtown Lisbon

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Planning for the next big adventure

Planning for a trip

For me, planning for a trip is part of the whole experience. My friends say that I am constantly in “cruise control” – either planning for a trip, going on the trip, and then sharing my experiences and starting to plan the next one!

So how do I start planning for a trip?  The first step is asking myself where – and how – do I want to travel. Is it time for me to get a brief taste, or am I ready for a deeper experience?  For me, both are very valid experiences. The “brief tastes” allows me to sample and see how a place feels to me.  And, since I do most of my travelling solo, it is important for me to have a bit of a safety net when venturing to places unknown. Some people are fearless – and some people think I am fearless – but really, I do know what my comfort level is.  So, my first taste will probably be as part of a cruise or a travel experience with someone else. Cruising allows me to know where I am going to stay, I meet lots of people, and I get a “taste” of many places.  The ones I like go on my “I’m going back there to spend more time” list. I also try to include a few days before and after to explore and to things that would be not part of being on a ship.

The next step in my planning activities are pretty much the same: I’ve decided where to go – now let’s find out more! I usually start my research looking at where I want to stay once I “arrive” at a destination.  Trip Advisor is a good source for reviews, and is usually one of the first places I check for good information on prices and neighbourhoods.  While I like hostels, I also like a little more privacy than some hostels offer.  I tend to go to ones where I can find a private room so I can find the best of both – friendly people to chat with but my own space for comfort. I also like to stay in near transit and downtown centres. It makes getting around less of a hassle. A couple of my favourite hostels that have private rooms include Hotel La Bohème in Amsterdam, the Living Lounge Hostel in Lisbon, and Hostel Mare Nostrum in Barcelona.

I love using local transit and study the transit maps before I go. A really good practice of mine is to get a copy of the transit map and really get to know the layout – especially of the area where I am staying. Being able to show – at least outwardly – that I am confident about where I am going makes me feel better. I cannot tell you how many people ask me about where to go or how to use the local transit because I do seem to know what I am doing!

Next, I create my own Trip Navigator – a travel guide with information on each place I will visit and includes notes on places I want to see, how to get there, maps, pictures, contact information – anything that I may need.  The Trip Navigator for my next adventure is ~124 pages and includes all the basics I would want “at my fingertips”, including hotel, flight, and train confirmations; a list of embassies or consulates; and extensive tourist information – places to see and things to do. Since this collection of documents can get large, I collate everything in a pdf document that I can keep on my Kobo e-reader – with other copies available on my cell phone and computer.

I also update an “oh s***” list and leave a copy with the person who house-sits for me as well as taking a copy for me. This list will have emergency information (emergency phone numbers, ticket information, hotel addresses and phone numbers, travel and health insurance information, and credit card info). It turned out to be quite useful when I lost my wallet in Barcelona.  While waiting for a train, I pulled out this list and cancelled my credit cards – all in less than 10 minutes after I knew the wallet was gone. I also make copies of my passport and credit cards – I tend to carry the copy of my passport while I am out and about exploring instead of the real one, unless it is strictly enforced that a traveller must have the original passport with them at all times.

It may look like I over-plan for a trip, but I think the planning is almost as much fun as the going. I am a librarian by training, so researching new things is important!

2012 Travel in Review, Part 2

For the second half of my travelling adventure, I decided to include a transatlantic cruise that would also include crossing the equator.

Sao Paulo: I started the adventure in Sao Paulo. Nothing prepared me for the number of people, the traffic, or the language barriers! But, that is what makes travelling n adventure — learning to face new challenges and opportunities. In Sao Paulo, I stayed at the LimeTime Hostel, which was very close to the Metro and Ave. Paulista. Of course, my first day out, I turned the wrong way and got lost looking for the Metro and Ave. Paulista, but I finally started learning my way around — and using the Metro was a great help!  Want to do something different?  If you are up early on a Sunday — which can be difficult because there are so many cool bars in Sao Paulo — head to the Benedictine Monastery for 10 AM mass.  It is crowded, so unless you get there a little early, you may have to stand, but the singing is beautiful!

Casa de las Rosas
Casa de las Rosas
Statue in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Statue in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Lower level of the Sao Paulo cemetery
Lower level of the Sao Paulo cemetery
Statue in Sao Paulo cemetery
Statue in Sao Paulo cemetery
Cat in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Cat in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo Cathedral
Sao Paulo Cathedral
Placa de Republica
Placa de Republica

Santos: There is a bus that takes you from Sao Paulo to the beaches of Santos.  It takes about 90 minutes and will stop right on the beach.  I took the bus to the cruise terminal to join my ship, RCI’s Vision of the Seas. There were a few of us on the bus — and we all got a little nervous, not knowing the exact route the driver was taking through Santos.  But we made it safely and got a mini-tour of Santos in the bargain.  The beaches are beautiful!

Beach at Santos
Beach at Santos

Rio: It was really nice sailing into Rio — I sat ion my balcony and took pictures from a view many people in the city would never see! I was also very fortunate to hook up with a small group of people to “see the sites” and had an amazing lunch at a Brazilian BBQ place.  I also had a moment of panic when I thought my group had left without me. I would love to spend more time here — preferably with someone and not on my own.

Cat on the beach in Rio
Cat on the beach in Rio
Rio Beaches
Rio Beaches
Vultures over Rio
Vulture flying over Rio
Sugar Loaf Cable Cars
Sugar Loaf Cable Cars
Christ the Redemer
Christ the Redemer
Cat's photo at the tram
Waiting for the Tram
Sailing into Rio
Sailing into Rio

Salvador de Bahia: I loved the history and and experiences I had here in Salvador — and took one of my favorite pictures here as well.

Ribbons at Senhor do Bonfim
Ribbons at Senhor do Bonfim
Senhor do Bonfim Ribbons
Senhor do Bonfim Ribbons
Blessing
A Candoble Blessing

Crossing the Atlantic: I can say that I have not only sailed across the Atlantic, but I also sailed across the equator! This was 6 days of pure relaxation (when I wasn’t sick form a nasty cold).

Tenerife, Spain:  Our first port after 6 days — and I needed to get back into nature.  What a great place to experience the beauty of a volcano and this unique landscape. I want to go back and see more!

Rock formations near Teite Volcano
Rock formations near Teite Volcano
First view of Teite Volcano
First view of Teite Volcano

Funchal, Portugal: I had such a lovely day in Madeira — this is another place I want to return to and spend more time (and one of the reasons I cruise — get a “taste” of different places to decide where to return to!).

Funchal Market Monte tobaggan View from Monte Swan Tobaggan ride Funchal Cable

Lisbon, Portugal: I love Lisbon — great food,wine, entertainment and beautiful architecture — so much to take pictures of! I stayed at the Living Lounge Hostel — a wonderful spot in the heart of the city. I never seem to have enough time in Portugal!

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