April 2017, Lisbon.
After a visit to friends in the Pedrogao Grande region of Central Portugal, I opted for two nights in Lisbon before my return to UK.
I hadn’t done any research on Lisbon at the booking stage, I was flying in and out and thought I’d just pop in and make the time to see some of Portugal’s capital city.
I booked into a hotel just behind the main square, it wasn’t budget, but it didn’t break my budget and it was an absolutely perfect place to stay as a solo traveler who wanted a bit of comfort.
I’ve got to the age where I’m happy to have a long day doing it all. Solo traveling at my age is more about making the most of the day and just relaxing at night with a light meal, a glass of wine or two and a deep sleep in a comfy bed.
I had booked a walking tour online with a company called With Locals. A personal tour with a local guide, excellent communication beforehand via the online messaging service for the guide to understand what I wanted to see, and she provided an itinerary in advance.
I was so impressed with their service and my afternoon. I highly recommend this, if I had had longer, I would definitely have booked a second day with my guide.
I thought I had it all sussed, Day one, arrive by train, check in, meet my guide, stroll around in the evening. Hotel, meal, sleep. Day two, a whole day in Lisbon with my friend, repeat the evening and leave for an early doors flight.
The one thing Google maps doesn’t show when you look at the street view option is the elevation… I speed read Lisbon one evening whilst planning my walking trip but failed to notice Lisbon is built on hills, and very steep hills too.
Whilst sitting in the taxi on my way to meet my guide, as we were low-gearing up the street gradients, I had a small worry.
I have a hip replacement and I like to think I’ve moved on from that and I can climb any mountain, but in reality, I choose what I think I can do, with the limitations of my hip in mind. I failed that self-test in Lisbon.
On meeting my wonderful guide, I mentioned the issue and my concern if we were up-hilling it all afternoon.
Bless her, I seem to think she did a bit of an instant head route change.( Awkward client probably shot through her mind) I told her I was very into doors, buildings, and architecture and she just swung me into a comfortable route, which was a gentle gradient, stopping for one of those wonderful Portuguese coffees and a traditional pastry in an Art Deco building. Then downhill, through the steep streets for a long walk along the seafront. Lisbon is a place to return to…
Heading through the streets on top of the hill, plenty of doors….
Heading down hills, towards the River Tagus…Steep streets, tiled houses, unusual doors….
Linking with Thursday Doors…