Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 1 Lisbon

What a fantastic first day!
We covered so much of everything and as I gather my notes and organize pics, here are highlights of Day 1 in Lisbon!
After an 8 hour flight, we arrived in Lisbon and checked into the Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade, a great choice and one I would highly recommend for its location, spacious rooms and modern decor!
Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade Lisbon Portugal

Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade Lisbon Portugal
With no time to waste, we walked down Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon's main boulevard built in the 19th century in the style of the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
It runs north for a mile from Restauradores...
Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon Portugal
to Marquês de Pombal Square, and is more than 300 feet (90m) wide. 
Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal
The avenue still has a certain elegance with fountains and cafes shaded by trees, as well as a pavement decorated with abstract patterns...
pavement decorated with abstract patterns mosaic
Some of the original mansions have been preserved, and many are outstanding from an architectural standpoint. 
When booking hotels, it's often difficult to know exactly where you'll end up but I was happy to find that this avenue was the site of not only our hotel but others just as grand as well as banks, offices and designer shops like Louis Vuitton, D&G, Tods, Burberry and the like... 
Avenida da Liberdade designer shops
Jacob's first purchase, roasted chestnuts from this nice man...
We then checked out Elevador da Gloria, a funicular that links downtown to the Bairro Alto district and one that most people take to go up and down the hilly windy streets.  
Us?  Nope!  We made the walk multiple times...good for buns and thighs became the joke of the trip! 
Elevador da Gloria, a funicular that links downtown to the Bairro Alto
After exchanging money, we stopped off at the Post Office...that's our reflection in the ceiling... 
Made our way past Rossio Station, a train station that looks more like a theater or a lavishly adorned palace with horseshoe arched doorways and home to the one and only Starbucks in the city...
Rossio Station, train station Lisbon Portugal
This monumental Neo-Manueline building is located between Rossio and Restauradores squares and was built at a time when train stations were seen as temples of technology. 
I couldn't stop photographing it, it's so beautiful!
Rossio Station, train station Lisbon Portugal

Rossio Station, train station Lisbon Portugal
Based on Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" we commemorated our first night in Lisbon with dinner at O Ramiro for what was probably the most delicious and memorable meal EVER!
Anthony Bourdain Travel No Reservations in Lisbon O Ramiro
Just make sure to get there before 7 or, you will be waiting in line indefinitely as they do not take reservation...haha!
Seafood and more at O Ramiro Lisbon Portugal
We ate barnacles...

Barnacles O Ramiro Lisbon Portugal
Garlic Clams, Swimming Crab, Stone Crab and Alaskan Crab...  
All made that much yummier with buttery, garlicky and crunchy fresh bread and a few Cervezas...
Bread with garlic butter at O Ramiro Lisbon Portugal
The meal was complete with Prego, a steak sandwich that's eaten with mustard at the end of the meal as "dessert"...
Prego at O Ramiro Lisbon Portugal
Full and happy...
Full and happy at O Ramiro Lisbon Portugal
we set out to explore more of this awesome city! 
Full and happy at O Ramiro Lisbon Portugal
One of my favorites was Lisbon’s Santa Justa Elevator that is said to have been designed by Gustave Eiffel (yes, of the Eiffel Tower), but that is not exactly true.  Mr. Eiffel had many disciples and one of them was Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, a Portuguese architect born in Porto of French parents.  Ponsard was the real creator of Santa Justa Elevator which several publications have listed as one of the world’s best examples of iron architecture during the Industrial was truly fantastic especially, at night!
Santa Justa Elevator Lisbon Portugal

Santa Justa Elevator Lisbon Portugal
Zigzagging through the city streets...

SÃO JORGE castle as seen at night Lisbon
Up and down hills...
Bairro Alto Lisbon Portugal

we were finally ready for a bit of espresso and a hot chocolate before calling it a day...

I was ready for more but had to pace myself as this was, after all, only day one!
Love Lisbon Portugal
Let's get ready for day 2 in Lisbon!

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