Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Exploring the Alfama area of Lisbon

I realize I haven't posted anything but a few pictures on my time in Lisbon.  As I mentioned previously I had a terrible arrival in Lisbon with the airport bus I was in hitting an elderly woman jaywalking.  I do not know the poor woman's fate but I don't think it could be anything but bad. 

Anyway on Saturday January 17th  (the date is for me, not you - my personal journal is almost non existent) I decided to spend the day exploring the Alfama neighborhood.  This is the oldest area of Lisbon and was settled by the Moors. The name comes from the Arabic word Al-hamma which means hot fountains or spring.  This is the one area of Lisbon that survived the devastating earthquake of 1755.  Streets are narrow and  the area has lots of character.  It is mainly an area where the poor live although restaurants and clubs are being opened in the area.  While it is safe during the daytime it is not an area you wander alone at night. 

I took the number 28 tram there which is the tourist tram and pick pocket central.  A friend warned me about this so of course I had to visit Trip Advisor and scared myself silly with reading all the stories of people being robbed.  Not good. I am  not usually like this so guess I was still a bit "freaked out" (well let's use that excuse anyway) I did not enjoy the trip at all as I viewed every person as a potential pick pocket.  So I would say use extreme caution when using this tram - be aware and secure your belongings but enjoy the experience.  I was lucky to get a seat - if you have to stand not only are you more vulnerable to pickpockets but you really can't see anything. 

My first port of call was Castelo Sao Jorge  - St George Castle.  It is a ruin now but it was still interesting and the views of the city were enough to justify the admission price. 

Pretty, no?

Tramping around castles is exhausting business so it was time for a coffee..... this cafe's terrace cried out for me to stop and have a rest...

Then it was off to explore the narrow streets...

I have been taking pictures of cats on this trip - Scylla must have softened me up.

 I slowly meandered down to the river front and caught a tram to Belem...but that's another post...

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