Sunday was my first day to explore the city. I decided to use a couple of self lead walking tours that I found on Frommer's. Starting out from the Marriott, which is about 6 km from the center of town, I headed to the closest metro station. The metro has four lines..blue, red, yellow, and green. The blue line stop at Jardim Zoologica (the zoological garden) is a short 8 minute walk from the hotel. Five quick metro stops, Baixo-Chiado, leaves you close to Praca do Comercio, a large square on the water and the start of the center of town.
First, let me tell you that if you like San Francisco and hills, you'll love Lisbon. You will climb and climb and climb. It's not an easy walking town, but it's well worth getting in walking shape to view the sites. Lisbon installed elevators to assist with getting from one level to the next...what a great idea. The 1st walking tour started in the Alfama section of town. Walking about 5 minutes found me at Largo da Madalena. Here you'll find Igreja de Madalena, a church dating back to 1783. Next on to Igreja de Santo Antonio built in 1812. The Cathedral of Lisbon was the next stop. Not all that impressive for a major city cathedral. Okay, time to climb and get a bird's eye view of the city. Up, up, up to the Miradouro de Santa Luzia. Wow, from here you look down on the houses as they spill into the Tagus River. Breathtaking. Just a little higher from there you reach Largo das Portas do Sol. Once again, quite a view. There are many small cafes and bars with outside seating in the square. It's a great time to take a break from the climbing and get in some people watching. After a short relaxing sit, it's time to make the final climb....Up some steep stairs and I was at Castelo de Sao Jorge (St George's Castle). Parts of the castle date back to the 6th century. The history includes visits from the Romans, Visigoths and the Moors.
After the castle, I headed back down to the waterfront for the chance to hang out and enjoy the folks relaxing on a beautiful spring day.
Along the way, I snapped a few pictures of things that I enjoy..always like seeing street musicians!!