with a free day in lisbon i thought i'd venture out and explore the city rather than holing up in my hotel room. a tour of the city was booked for the afternoon so i started by a lunch in the hotel restaurant. pictured above is one of the extra-strength portugese coffees that are more like triple espressos. one of those and i'm ready to start the day- or maybe run around the block twenty times!
first stop was the castle of saint george
and wandering the small nearby streets. unfortunately of all the days i've been in lisbon it decided to rain on my one free day. the good news was there weren't many tourists around the outside destinations and some of the streets, like this one, looked almost abandoned.
a canon looks down towards the city. although by the architecture of the city one might think it to be extremely old, most of it in fact dates back to only the second half of the 18th century as a massive earthquake and tsunami
destroyed around 80% of the buildings in the city in 1755, killing a third of the population.
the national museum of azulejo
was the next stop- an interesting historical tour of the world of portugese ceramic painted tiles.
the museum is located in a beautiful restored convent and also showcases some modern art pieces.
these tiles are from the middle of the 18th century and depict three saints. i'm not sure who the one on top is but she looks a bit unhappy, perhaps not surprising as she has seven swords sticking out of her.
the weather started to clear towards the end of the afternoon so i took a stroll outside, followed by a visit to the impressive jerónimos monastery which contains the tomb of vasco da gama
among others. with the enormous ceilings and impressive architecture, it boggles my mind to consider that the original monastery in this photo was built 500 years ago.
in all a great day out in lisbon, even if i did see only a fraction of what the city has to offer.