Rui our Maitre de was all smiles on deck as we sailed into his home town Lisbon, Portugal. It was around 9am when we started our entrance into the river heading up to the centre of the city where we berthed.
The vistas on both sides of the ship was magic and were a few times when the captain had to blow his horn to warn fishing boats to move out of our way.... The 25th April Bridge.... ( this is not first time we have seen bridges or towns etc named after specific dates ) was just like passing our harbour bridge and you are that we must be just skimming the bottom of the bridge. Portugal must be right into copying things as we also passed a large monument of Jesus with his arms spread just as they are in Rio de Janeiro.
We cruised pass the main centre of town and docked a little further up in the Alfama district but all in easy walking distance back to were our walking tour was going to start.
Another highlight was the welcome by the port’s tug. As this was the inaugural visit of the Dawn Princess to the port of Lisbon we were treated with an escort up the river by a tug all decorated with flags. He would blow his horn and we would blow ours.... he would scoot to one side of ship and perform a couple of doughnuts then scoot around the other side and doughnut some more. This happened continually until we docked. Then he was back again as we sailed out....doughnuting and hooting... This would have to be one of the more beautiful sail in’s we have had..
I had downloaded a Discovery Walks walking tour and this was what we were going to follow during the day.... We walked this magnificent city for over 5 hours turning on and off our commentary as we needed it. It seemed that at every point of Interest there was square overlooked by another church, some even two, but best of all usually we would run into someone that we knew..... The first major square was our starting point. Commerce Square with it’s Triumphal Arch that leads into the main pedestrian street lined with shops and restaurants... Following this road it led you to big square no 2 Rossio Square with it’s towering monument and large fountains. Here stopped for a quick coffee and watched as the world went by.
Lisbon is a labyrinth of cobbled streets that lead up one hill and down the next. There are little yellow trams that take you from one part of the city to another. In parts, the town is that steep that there are these tall towers that serve as elevators that take you straight up from one street to the street above.
One street is so steep that you find what is called the Elevador da Gloria, a funicular that takes you up and down. At the top there is Garden called the Miradouro Alcantara which overlooks the city... from here you have a great view of St Georges Castle, the city and a vista out to sea... We walked back down following our map walking past more squares, more interesting cafe’s and more interesting statues.... and of course more friends...
I was on the hunt for Portuguese Tarts.... Garry told everyone he was too but I think he was looking for a different type to me.... The custard tarts were yummy and we visited a couple of Deli’s to pick up some real Portuguese Port.
We stopped for a quick bite before returning to the ship.... I only have after shots again.... we had seafood rice washed down with white sangria and cold beer... but this time at a more enjoyable pace.... Now here is some clever on selling... after you order they bring a plate of prosciutto and cheese and place it on the table. The waiter say’s “you don’t eat you don’t pay.... you eat you pay “...... We sent them back not knowing how many tables they had been on prior to ours... then after we finished our meals they brought a plate of deserts, crème Broulee, chocolate mousse, crème caramel and rice pudding..... As tempting as they were we also declined to partake...
This city has just this wonderful feel about it... it wasn’t the hustle and bustle of Barcelona just a wonderful quaintness... We loved it.....
It was then back on board for another sail away party ... but now it is starting to get a little cold to stay up on deck... so eight of us moved our ice buckets and liquid contraband up to the warmth of the Horizon Court. We were having such a good time we wanted to share with Ros and Arnold who had got off in Barcelona for a side trip to Paris. So what do you do.... you ring them of course ... trouble was although it was 10 pm on the boat.... it was 11 pm in Paris.