Friday, April 13, 2012

A-Z Challenge L = Lisbon

Lisbon, said to have seven hills but has a darn sight more than that, dates back before Roman times when Julius Caesar called it Olyssipo. 



Artists flock here because of special clarity of its light - often compared to that of San Francisco - and because of the curious geometry they see in the city's layout (right).


It's the seventh most visited city in Europe and, indeed, tourists come in droves, not only to explore the city but also because it's within spitting distance of golden beaches (Caparica and the Estoril coastline) and historic venues (such as Sintra, Mafra, Batalha). 


You can come to Lisbon (or Lisboa) for the tourist attractions (Belem Tower, right) where you can eat one or several of the famous pasteis de Belém (custard tarts but better - below)
You can also easily escape the tourist traps by wandering the winding alleys and streets behind Chiado and around the Alfama and Graça districts where you'll get a real taste of Lisbon (literally). Get on an eléctrico (pictured at the top) with half the population of Lisbon and rattle around the narrow streets all over Lisbon for a couple of euros. 
If, like me, you like mythical characters, Portugal's Shakespeare, Luís Camões, called on the Tágides (or river nymphs) in the River Tagus to help him write his epic tale os Lusíadas. And you might just meet one of them in one of my books...
Tágides - river nymphs in the Tagus River

18 comments:

  1. Lovely post, Sue. I have never visited Lisbon but it looks beautiful, as well as interesting

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  2. Sounds like Lisbon needs to go to the top of my list of places to see
    I love the old world charm and because my home town (San Francisco ) is also my favorite city in the world would love to see her twin

    beautiful
    Lovely Lady for L is here

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  3. charming looking place, i know i would love it--thanks for the tour

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  4. Thanks Cat! Leslie - Lisbon even has a bridge like the San Francisco one. Thanks Lynn :-)

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  5. Cool spot - and great background info! Didn't know about Tagides - but now I do ;-) Thanks!

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  6. I've never been to Portugal. It looks amazing. Maybe I should add it to my bucket list.

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  7. Lots of red roofs as well.

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  8. You see, Katie? We live and learn on the A-Z! You should Rosalind. Yes, Alex, I think every house has a red roof.

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  9. Beautiful. I think I'd enjoy dining in the tower. And all those red roofs remind me of the Caribbean.

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    1. oops...little misunderstanding (my fault). The Belém Tower is actually a monument with no restaurant - although you can hire it if you like!) The custard tarts are made in the town of Belém - in a famous café full of blue and white tiles that dates back to Godknowswhen - when a convent decided to start making these tarts in order to make a bit of money. Now it make a mint!

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  10. Lisbon is one I haven't visited (yet). Now I'm more eager than ever! Thanks!

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  11. What a remarkably beautiful place! Hope I'll get to see it someday!

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  12. Susan, Your photographs and your word pictures made me feel as though I was there. It looks like a beautiful place to travel to.

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  13. Great pictures and great post!

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  14. I wonder why it has clarity of light.

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  15. I want to go to Lisbon some day.

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  16. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for the comments re. EuroDisney and me :)

    It's probably very well run now, so you haven't missed anything:)

    PS... Went to Albufeira, Portugal for a vacation as a reckless teen... had a lot of fun :)

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  17. Thanks for replying Daisy, Nancy, Susan, Tyrean, Tonja and Ciara - I hope you do get to come one day!
    Ah, Mark, if you went to Albufeira then you really had a reckless time :-)

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