Lisbon Portugal – The Historic Center

Following our morning tour of The José Maria da Fonseca Winery, we were off to Lisbon. We crossed one of the bridges (Ponte 25 de Abril) into Lisbon. It was an instant reminder of San Francisco for all of us. As mentioned in a previous post, we didn’t have navigation or a map to help us find our way. Thank goodness for good old-fashioned street signs! Just off the bridge was signage for Belém Tower, one of our desired destinations.

Belém Tower - Lisbon Portugal

Let the kids run wild

We found parking right away and let the kids run wild in Lisbon Portugal! This was a very cool tower and when the tide is in, it is completely surrounded by water. We weren’t there while the tide was in, so it was great stomping grounds for our son to get dirty. Next door was a what appeared to be a guarded, veteran’s memorial. We watched the changing of the guards and roamed around the park. The kids loved the old cannons and pretending to shoot each other. Go figure!

Oh a Bus Stop!

Once we left this area, we had no clue which way to go.  We just drove around the city and soaked up every neighborhood.  After about 30 min, the kids spotted a huge park and begged to go play.  Why not?  We parked and while the kids were climbing and sliding, I found a map on the wall of the city bus stop. Thank goodness, so I now knew where we were and got bearings for the general direction we wanted to go next.

 Lisbon Portugal Central Park (Lisboa)

As we were driving around the Historic Center of Lisbon Portugal, we were fascinated. Everything was picture perfect. It was similar to Spain, but the buildings seemed more “dressed”.  There were several that were covered with colorful tiles and very well maintained. We passed through several large “roundabouts” and sometimes we just stayed in it and circled, so we could get a good long look at the statue or center piece within.  Just off of one of the main roundabout’s was Lisbon’s Central Park (Eduardo VII Park).

We found parking right away and hopped out for an hour or so and just roamed around. We looked at some memorials and gardens. There was a playground with a zip line, so the kids were hooked.  We were happy, because there was a little cafe for us to have a cappuccino and hot chocolate while watching the kids. I walked to the bottom of the hill, where all the Double Decker buses stop. There I found a tourist map in English! Of course, it was really advertisement to purchase the bus tour.  We prefer to just roam on our own and “get lost” as much as we can. This way we can discover the unknown. We never really get lost, because we aren’t really going anywhere in particular.  We can always find our way back.

Is that the Castle?

From atop Central Park we had a magnificent view of the historic area. We could see the castle on the hill in the center of town. We had now picked out our next destination and figured we could wing it getting over there. We did have the map as back up if needed. Turns out we didn’t need the map for this one. We arrived at Castelo de Sao Jorge and again found “Rock Star” parking.  It was a bit rainy, so not many tourists at the castle. All I can say is we LOVED it!  We did plenty more roaming around and went into the center of town and had a late night out along with a nice dinner.

All Eyes on The Wagoner Family

No matter where we went in Lisbon, in the Algarve in Spain…we kept getting the strangest looks from everyone. This was a consistent theme the entire weekend.  People had no fear with giving us the ole look over up and down and back again. When walking towards the Castle, one guy even asked us..”Are you German? Dutch? Spanish? French? Kenyan?” Of course, we just said “No” to each question, rather than just tell him where we are from. LOL…. Have you guessed why we are getting such attention?

We were wearing SHORTS!  We always wear shorts, but people here are really taken back by it.  Oh well, the Wagoner shorts will continue to be worn! (it was about 70’F by the way).  From what we have seen, children wear shorts but not often do the adults. Even when it was hot, it wasn’t common. Yet, they have no problem sporting a Speedo! Oh well, we will just be ourselves and cover up when we are cold.

Enjoy the pictures!

A great day trip from Lisbon

Why not venture a little further and check out this small fishing town for surfing and more.  Hers is a great list of things to do in Ericeira.

We also have a post about the contemporary side of Lisbon too!

If you need more inspiration, there are many more reasons to travel to Lisbon!

What do you think?  Have you been?

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