After a bountiful breakfast at the hotel (including a dessert bar), we headed off on an extensive walking tour of the city.
First up - how to use the metro. Robert gave us all viagem passes good for 48 hours and took us to a stop very near our hotel. Once inside, he pointed out the beautiful tile work on the walls. When the metro was first built in the 50's, the architect's wife was an artist, Maria Keil. She convinced her husband that the walls should not be blank. She then donated her time to designing tlles for the 9 original stations. Her designs incorporated "minimal designs with maximum impact." Used here are about 8 different tiles arranged in different patterns and subtly directing traffic with arrows.
We began our walk in the Chiado area, which has become quite commercial, and came to the square that commemorates the "Carnation Revolution." This was the peaceful end of of the 48 year dictatorship on April 25, 1974, and the beginning of democracy. The jacaranda trees that were planted from Brazil were still in bloom today in the square.
Then we walked through an area with several buildings representing the intricate tile work that has dominated the architectural landscape throughout the city. The tile decoration on the facade of this house, erected in 1864 on Largo Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, features allegorical figures of Science, Agriculture, Industry and commerce.
Then we passed through the Baixa area, taking several outdoor elevators that took us almost to the top of one of the 7 hills of Lisbon where St. George's Castle is located.
After the castle, we walked down through the Alfama area. This was the area of Lisbon that survived the 1755 earthquake that took out most of the rest of the city. Consequently, it is very old and many of the dwellings don't even have indoor plumbing. The streets are steep cobblestones and locals hang their wash outside of buildings.
We continued down the hill to the wharf area, where trolleys run up and down the river front.
From here we dispersed - some to return to the hotel or explore other parts. Since it was a beautiful sunny day, I decided to take a river cruise. The 1-1/2 hour trip enabled me to see the city from the water, which is spectacular with all the red roofs.
Tonight we went to Casa do Alentejo