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Short Lisbon Exploration
Flying from Madeira to Barcelona, I had to take a short 3-4 hour-long stop-over at Lisbon's airport for changing planes.
Why not burn that time on getting a taste of Lisbon?
I aimed straight at the São Jorge Fortress. Here's the story below...
Lisbon is Massive
Lisbon seemed so huge from the air, as we were approaching... The house blocks made me think of those Eastern European former communist countries, but this time it was a bit different.
Lisbon is a combination of old and modern. The city has grown a lot... it has well-developed infrastructure with immense bridges spanning across the Río Tejo's bay.
My first sight of Libon's beautiful skyline! I was still walking on the road, not in the fortress yet...
About 550.000 people live in Lisbon's central area (city proper) and around 3 million in the entire area. But, I honestly think the 3 million is a more accurate calculation.
Almost one third of mainland Portugal's population lives in the capital.
It's a large port city, but its airport is also a major hub for flights between Europe and Latin America, the Caribbean and outlying Portuguese islands (Madeira and the Azores).
I was there for roughly 3 hours. Barely enough to visit the São Jorge Fortress and catch the bus back to the airport.
Short Visit to the de São Jorge Fortress
Although this was a trip taken in September 200, I can still recall the main/key moments of it... as if it happened yesterday.
I came out of the Portela Airport's main building. My luggage was being transferred from one jet to the other, so I had no worry with it...
I headed straight to the centre of the city - at first still wondering what I should visit, but I quickly decided it would be the fortress - mainly because I'd get to see the panorama!
Beautiful pink, purple and blue flowers on a demoshed building's walls...
To get there, I took a combination of subway and bus and a long walk all the way up to the Castelo de São Jorge.
For a first time visitor, finding the entrance uphill was quite a struggle. Also carrying my heavy backpack and DSLR. Worrying, whether I'd make it there and back in time...
Thick cover of flowers and green leaves hide the decaying walls on which they thrive
Lisbon is said to have one of Europe's most beautiful skylines.
I was about to see how it really looks, but in order to get there, I had to find my way across meandering streets on the side of the hill...
Huge cannon with heavy wheels
These cannons expected me shortly after having entered.
By the way: entry was free (back in 2008) and I was able to spend nearly an hour up there, behind the walls of this Moorish Castle.
Small one on the ground
The São Jorge Castle was a Moorish Castle, but the Christians took it in 1147, when these lands returned from the Muslim Moors to the Christians.
Besides the historical items, there was also a colony of fat Portuguese cats. Well-fed fat felines sitting in the sun...
Smaller wheels on this one
The skyline of Lisbon was one of the most beautiful ones I've seen across Europe: I could see the Vasco da Gama Bridge, the Belém Tower (perhaps the most renowned icon of Lisbon),the 4 gigantic Torres das Amoreiras office buildings...
I was stunned by the intriguing city and already started dreaming of returning.
More photos below...
25 de Abril Bridge spans more than 1 km (0.62 mi) in length!
Praça do Comércio
High-rise office buildings in the distance
Praça da Figueira
Rectangular walls, rectangular turrets...
Entrance is across a moat
Fortress walls crossing each other
Peculiar walls of the São Jorge Fortress. Rather thin, too.
Melancholic Portuguese cat. Contemplating or is he/she sad?
The beautiful Convento da Graça viewed from the fortress
Another glimpse towards the strait before leaving. A massive cruise ship was just crossing.
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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