Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lisbon to Gibraltar - 2: Lisbon

A few words about Lisbon before describing the voyage south.

Lisbon is one of Europe's oldest and most beautiful cities, built on seven hills neighbouring the river Tagus as it flows into the Atlantic. Its been occupied for millennia, a harbour and trading post for the Phoenicians as far back as 1200 BC as they sailed through the Pillars of Hercules to trade with the early Brits for Cornish tin.

If you're sailing down the Portuguese coast or spending some time racing at Cascais you must leave several days to explore the city. Above you can see the stunning view from the castle over the river, with a replica of Golden Gate Bridge and a replica of Rio's Cristo statue, both slightly less than full scale.

We only had a few hours so were unable to fit in all that there is to see - the many old quarters like Alfama and Belem, the Cathedral, trams rattling up hills, old squares, fine restaurants, museums, parks and bars.

Our day in Lisbon ended with a visit to the temple of port namely the Solar do Vinho do Porto where what we drank was as old as we were.

Lisbon of course has a noble sailing tradition, as it wsa from here that Vasco da Gama sailed on his great voyages of discovery round Cape of Good Hope to India. And we got a taste of that tradition as our visit coincided with that of 50th Anniversary the Tall Ships.

More on them later, for they followed us all the way to Cadiz.


Tillerman said...

Thanks for the tip. Will definitely plan to spend some time in Lisbon when we visit Cascais next year.

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