Love of Lisboa

Saturday we strolled around locally to get our bearings and realised there was a Decathlon store nearby about 5 minutes walk away  (Decathlon is a big store that deal with sports and outdoor activities plus camping supplies etc) we needed toilet chemicals and our travel kettle had started to play up so we needed to replace that also and thought that the most likely place to get these would be there… but nope they don’t sell chemicals or travel kettles, but the assistant helpfully told me that a shop nearby called Leroy Merlin sell the chemicals that we need after a 25 minute trek we found the store its a DIY store we were able to buy the chemicals we needed there then we spotted the shopping centre where we were also able to buy a replacement kettle.

Sunday we spent most of the day doing the boring stuff such as thoroughly cleaning & tidying the inside of the motorhome and doing all the washing and drying of clothes, bedding and anything else I could think of at the campsites laundry which cost us €15 for just 2 loads but we sneakily managed an extra 2 loads on top the laundrette however is very conveniently placed near a bar/cafe so while waiting on the washing Pete and I ate and drank a few beers… in all fairness the washing and drying actually took hrs so we had to bide away the time with something and the beer was cheap but good at €1.50 a bottle so why not…

Monday we had a day out to see the city of Lisbon just being tourists and doing all the sight seeing stuff, we had to travel to the city centre and back by taxi’s due to the dog being with us and the bugbear of her not being allowed on (insert suitable swear word here) public transport such as the buses, trams and trains… the taxi’s cost us a total of €25 we took a guided walking tour of Lisbon with blue umbrella tours, which our friends Anne and David had mentioned and referred us too, it was a brilliant day and our guide was a very nice chap named Pedro who walked us and 6 other people around the streets of Lisbon for 2 & a half hrs… If you visit and are able it is well worth doing a walking tour to get to know the city and its history there is so much to see in this City.

The city is amazing a hustle bustle of maze like streets and tiled pathways amongst the buildings and squares each with amazing Statues relating to historic people of the Country and history of the city, the centre of the city was sadly pretty much destroyed in 1755 by an earthquake that reached an almost unheard of level 9 on the richter scale (a richter scale reading of 7 being a major earthquake… meaning level 9 is devastatingly major & vastly catastrophic), this was a huge earthquake with a devastating Tsunami to follow which went on to destroy a major part of the city, this earthquake and Tsunami killed an estimated 90,000 people in one hit, at the precise time of the earthquake many Catholics were in the church Igreja de São Domingos taking mass as it happened, this was ironically on 1st November “All Saints day” and at 9.30am meaning the Church was very full and busy with a full congregation, the earthquake caused the massive church’s roof to crumble and fall, the roof and tiles collapsed upon and killed all those within the building, many Catholics thought their city was cursed and many unsurprisingly questioned their faith after this disaster, what followed this were fires that lasted for 3 days throughout the city devastating the place even more, it took a year just to clear the debri and 20 years of reconstruction to rebuild the city following this disaster. The Church where the roof collapsed has since been rebuilt following several other disasters including another fire which happened in 1959 on restoration of this church it was decided to leave all the scars internally to this building on display so the damage from the earthquakes and the fire is still visible to this day and remain there as a humble reminder the damage is very evident upon the interior pillars if you get a chance it is a building well worthy of seeing although the outside really doesn’t do justice to it but do not be fooled by the exterior (see picture below) I found it amazingly fascinating inside and I am not a person who usually enters Churches, there was Mass being held at the time of our visit so out of respect for those no photographs were taken by us inside but feel free to look up the pictures on the magical internet…

We heard also of the Jewish relationship with the Portuguese and how at a time when the Jews were being persecuted the Portuguese gave asylum but that it turned out it was short lived at 8 months, and many were forced to leave, die or take a different religion which many faked and kept their real religion in secret, but to help hide themselves in amongst the population the Jews had to pretend not to be Jewish to help this Jewish sausages were made instead of being made of Pork ingredients they were made from Chicken and bread or Flour, Jews do not eat Pork but sausage it is a popular dish over here and is often seen hanging in Kitchens the fake sausage helped in this way and is still made now… there is a memorial stone as many persecuted Jews lost their lives here over the many yrs…

Pedro pictured below also talked to us about the Overthrow of the fascist dictatorship government in April of 1974 and how the government were overthrown by just a small band of 240 military men, the public were told to stay in their homes as they were warned it was not safe for them to be out on the street but the public were well aware this was scare mongering and went out onto the street to help with the revolution and also to celebrate (here’s the picture of prove that they didn’t stay home and were of course celebrating the forth coming return of democracy on this very street!) the over throw turned out not to be as violent as it could have been and all in all there were just 4 unfortunate deaths, not bad for a government being overthrown… it became known as the carnation revolution after a woman who owned a restaurant went onto the streets feeding the soldiers a meal and also giving each one a carnation the soldiers realised they had no place the hold their flowers while they ate so they each placed them into the barrels of their guns hence the name of the revolution… perhaps our PM May should take heed!!

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All the tour guides took an instant shine to Toffi as soon as she appeared and I must admit most of the time she was an absolute star, for a change she was calm and behaved impeccably… that is until any pigeons came too close and also when a tiny fluffy dog weighing in at no more than a few lbs took a dislike to her and wanted to pick a fight, we nick named this small dog “The Destroyer” but to be honest it’s name was more than likely Rambo or Butch or something along those lines (it’s always the small dogs who wanna pick a fight with a 24kg dog and in those cases Toffi doesn’t like to be the one to back down!)

The tour ended and we were about to go get ourselves some lunch when an Englishman approached us after hearing us talking, we chatted a while his name was Adrian and he was travelling alone and was fascinating, he’d got a great deal on a hotel in a part of the city he’d never visited before and found it to be great he told us of some old Roman walls and parts nearby and we shared our knowledge of tram info (apparently we were told number 12 tram takes you to Belem side of town) plus any other information we’d gathered from our freshly finished tour, we parted ways with a handshake and a wave wishing him safe travels…

We stopped or should I say got accosted for what turned out to be another expensive lunch for €60 on our way back through the city which is where Toffi started to get a little  grumpy trying to catch any pigeons that got too close and at one or two points during the meal almost taking the table and everything on it with her…

Tuesday can be chill a out day where we will sit and work out where we will go next we leave here Wednesday… so enough of my ramblings, cheerio for now & take care.

Donna x

 

GPS Coords

Lisboa Camping W38.72472 W9.2075

2 thoughts on “Love of Lisboa”

    1. Could have rambled on forever loads more interesting stuff about the cities history and loads to see and do Def a city worthy of a visit apparently Porto is a good city to visit too but we skipped that cos of the weather maybe back track there later, hope ur both well love from us both xxx

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