Climbing Lisbon

LOCATION: On board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth. Docked today in Lisbon, Portugal
WEATHER: Mostly sunny. Very pleasant. High 63

We arrived in Lisbon in the early morning. We watched the captain negotiate the docking, with a rainbow welcoming us to Lisbon.

There were several excursions available, but we opted to explore the city on our own. Our housesitting friends Darcy and Jack had sent us travel guide Rick Steves’ suggestions for a day trip in Lisbon. He recommended taking a taxi up to one of the high points in the city, an old castle, then meandering down the hill back to the harbor. So, that was our plan, except we were too cheap to use a taxi, and could not locate the tram or bus that would have taken us up. So…….up we walked! And up! And up!

The good thing is that our walk took us through the Old Town, with narrow alleys, laundry hanging from the balconies, and beautiful Portuguese tiles

Our climb was rewarded by a beautiful view of the city below. Here is our Queen Elizabeth, seen from above

Also at the top were the buses we had been looking for….

And the tuk-tuk taxis

Oh well…..the hike gave us some needed excercise and whetted our appetite for lunch.

We selected a tiny restaurant advertising local seafood.

Lisbon is famous for its cod. They say that there are 365 different ways to cook cod here.

We shared a seafood tapas platter……cod fritters, grilled sardines on toast, cod ceviche, and fresh tuna spread. All excellent. The waiter/owner gave us some nice olives as a starter, and a complimentary taste of ginchacha, a local cherry liqueur.

All accompanied by some nice Portuguese wines.

As we walked back down, we discovered beautiful plazas like this one. The tiles on the walls are unique to Portugal.

Unexpected music greeted us in the oddest places

Nervous Nellie Karmen wanted to return to the ship with plenty of time before it departed. The ship will not wait for anyone. Scheduled departure was 4:30, so I made sure we were back by 3:30.

We attended a Sailing Away party with a fun band. These proper and posh British change personality when the music starts – especially music from the 60s and 70s. Several were dancing along with the Mamma Mia song.

We passed under this famous Lisbon bridge. It didn’t look like the ship would clear the bridge, but we did.

Cocktail hour was spent watching the ballroom dancers. Many are really excellent; others appear to be still learning – you can tell as they are mouthing the steps as they maneuver the foxtrot or whatever. Then, we went to another lounge in the aft (front) of the ship to watch the sun set. At 5:45, the waiter reminded us that jackets and smart attire are required after 6:00, so we skedaddled.

We joined our tablemates again for dinner. Another nice meal. My starter was goat cheese, and main was a pork chop in a pastry shell. We all talked about how we had spent our day.

George went to the 10:30 show – a saxophonist, but I snuggled up in the very comfy bed with a book.

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