Tales from Alentejo: A Couple of Days in Lisbon—Part One

These last few weeks, I have been chronicling my trip to Portugal last Spring. The trip started on a Monday in late May with a visit to the medieval town of Monsaraz, and the wineries of Esporão, and José de Sousa. Tuesday started with a trip to Cartuxa, and Wednesday morning we found ourselves at Dona Maria, and Thursday, we started at Herdade do Mouchão, and finished at Herdade de Malhadinha Nova.

Friday morning, after a luxurious and exceedingly relaxing breakfast at Malhadinha Nova, those of us that remained had to leave lovely Alentejo as we were headed back to Lisbon for either a flight out, or, as was my case, a couple of days staying in the heart of the Portuguese capital.

I often elect to stay a few extra days on a press trip (at my own expense, of course) to explore the area a bit on my own. I decided to rent a VRBO in the city and after much deliberation and research, I selected the Alfama District, which is the oldest part of the city, and fairly centrally located. The only caveat was that it could be pretty loud during the festival of St. Anthony.

And that started my first night there.

Oh well.

After meandering through the city, we finally got “close enough” to my little apartment—Alfama is largely pedestrian-only, so getting a car to my doorstep proved to be close to impossible.

The problem? Lisbon is a city of hills, so getting to the apartment involved schlepping down some stairs (84 in case you were wondering).

After a few wrong turns, I finally found my street, named after a Portuguese poet.

Looking out of my first floor apartment—my home for three days.

My flat was directly above this tiny bar, which is only open on Fridays and Saturdays, and featured some of the best Fado in the city (more on that later).

My visits to any city are strictly weather dependent: unless it is raining, I rarely go into a museum—I prefer to stroll, get lost, and see what I find. Here is one of the many Catholic churches in the city, the Igreja de São Vicente de Fora.

The Igreja de São Vicente de Fora.

A brief stop inside the Igreja de São Vicente de Fora.

Not far from the Igreja de São Vicente de Fora, is the National Pantheon.

Dipping inside the Pantheon. It was worth it.

That day, around the Pantheon, there was a sprawling flea market.

I am far from a flea market “regular” but the Lisbon version definitely had a different flavor to it.

I then made my way down to the Praça do Comércio, along the water.

After lunch (including a glass of wine or two) I headed uphill to the Barrio Alto, to explore a bit more.

The Barrio Alto has some of the best preserved tiled houses in Lisbon. The tiles, or Azulejos, seem to be everywhere.

As impressive as the tiles are the incredible views of the lower portion of Lisbon, including the Praça do Comércio, in the middle, along the water.

And the São Jorge Castle (far left) would be my next visit—stay tuned.

 

 

 

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About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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3 Responses to Tales from Alentejo: A Couple of Days in Lisbon—Part One

  1. I really enjoyed Lisbon! Spent about five days there, which was nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Wine Blog Daily Thursday 3/1/18 | Edible Arts

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