A WALK IN ALFAMA

Grateful for

  • Breakfast with the locals
  • The MasterChef delivering once again!

It was hard to wake up and get going today.  Skipping breakfast was probably not the best idea.  We set off and walked downhill toward the city centre and,  Along the way passed a small café sporting a local crowd, so we decided to stop and join them.

A strong shot of coffee and a croissant and two Portuguese tarts later we strode downhill along the main Avenue de Liberdade towards the centre of town and its magnificent town squares.

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Along the Avenue de Liberdade

We thought we would walk our way through the old town of Lisbon, known as Alfama.  Armed with a rough map and walking suggestions we botched our way around the steep streets to see ‘Miradouro da Gracia’ (Grace Place), Igreja de Sao Vicente de Fora (a church), browsed though the Feira da Ladra (flea market, to the Pantello Nacional (Pantheon).

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Praca de Figueira.  This mosaic tiling made me reassess the 1960’s Op Art movement!
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The flea market
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The Pantheon

Along the way, I was amazed that Lisbon had trams that resembled ours!  A shame I noticed once we had sweated our way up the steep hill!

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We tried to walk further up the hill to the castle on the peak, but kept meeting impasses. For the next half an hour we made the mistake of asking generous and smiling locals about how we might find the ‘Castello de Sao George’.  Well, after numerous other tries, our tolerance level ran out. Our Fitbits were buzzing 10,000 steps and we called it quits and headed down near the water.

We headed across the huge square or ‘Praca do Comercio’ (Commercial Square) for a drink and some refreshment before walking back up though town.  We then caught a taxi back up the hill to our apartment.

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Commercial Square

Tired and hungry we went out to investigate the neighbourhood for eat-in food.  The very small little shops were only equipped with milk-bar like fare, not food for a dinner.  Once again, we were sent right and left by more kind generous locals until we finally tracked down a supermarket.  Nothing is signed or advertised as ostentatiously as at home so it took a while to track one down.

There is little fresh meat here apart from pork and chicken.  Den tracked down a frozen lamb shoulder from NZ and a can of white flageolet beans and fresh lettuce, whilst I tracked down salt, milk and yogurt for breakfast.

We put our roast in the oven and tried desperately to stay awake.  We had walked well over 20.000 paces and were really tired.  The roast was absolutely fabulous.  When we had finished, my eyes couldn’t stay open.

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