Lisbon Day 2 , Part 2- Europe 2023

Lisbon Day 2 , Part 2- Europe 2023

After the purchase of the amazing wallet, we walked back to pick up our traveling companions and tromped our way downtown to the gathering spot for the walking tour.

Our guide was Beatriz, pronounced (Bee-uh-treesh.) When we checked in with her, it turns out we had reserved for the walking tour the previous day, but she kindly included us since the tour wasn’t very big.

A biologist in background, she decided she preferred to share her love of knowledge and history through these tours, rather than through research or academia. The first 30’ish minutes of the 3+ hour walking tour were spent giving us a quick synopsis of 5000 years of Portuguese history.

The Chill Out tours are free tours, given by locals, with each guide giving their spin on showing off Lisbon. Beatriz steered clear of all tourist sites, other than the ones we walked past, and showed us the parts of downtown Lisbon she loves that aren’t always understood or seen.

In our family discussion over dinner after the tour, some of the things the five of us loved were:

* The respect and affection she has for Lisbon. The city is recovering from the pandemic and with tourism on the rise, tourists can be welcomed, but also disruptive. She had firm rules/requests for us to be amazed, but don’t be annoying. 😁

* Her encouragement to turn off Google maps and just get lost in this city she loves. And then she gave easy rules to follow to help get you back to a spot you would know if you did get lost.

* We all loved the tiny stairwell she took us up to take us into the alfama neighborhood of town.

* The respect she showed for all the locals we came across, especially in the Alfama neighborhood.

* Early on in the tour, she told us we would “take the castle,” which seemed very far away and very high up. And we did it. The tour began at 24 ft. above sea level and ended at 300 ft above sea level. We walked a little over three miles. 🤯

We went all over, so these are just a few highlights:

In the square outside the National Guard Museum, Beatriz explained the Carnation Revolution, the Portuguese bloodless coup in 1974. I cannot do the story justice here, but she gave the Portuguese perspective on why it happened the way it did, and in her version, when Salazar ordered the soldiers to fire on their fellow citizens, who would have included friends and family, and they laid down their weapons instead.

The National Guard

Portugal experienced a catastrophic earthquake in 1755. The numbers vary based on area covered and buildings and people counted, plus the 5 of us can’t agree on the numbers we remember her telling us, but something akin to 40-60% of the buildings of Lisbon were destroyed and 60-80% of the residents. This essay explains much of the change that came after this earthquake. The earthquake was stronger than the one that devastated Fukushima and it lasted 7 minutes, which is unheard-of for an earthquake.

The one we experienced in Virginia lasted less than a minute and it felt like it would never end.

This building was built by the Masons. Notice the Illuminati symbol at the peak.
In Alfama she had us stand silently in this small courtyard for a couple seconds. We heard no car noises, just the sounds of life in the small apartments around us.

Also in Alfama she explained about a photography project an artist is conducting as this oldest part of Lisbon loses ground to high rents and gentrification. The artist takes pictures of people who have lived, loved, and worked in the district all their lives and puts their picture on the wall near to where they lived or work.

In a cool bit of serendipity, the first photo she showed us was of Marió Tó. After she showed us, we turned a corner and walked up a hill, and there was Marió! He was at work, but smiled as he greeted us as we walked past.

We saw majestic monuments with hidden meanings and a spiky building with an elephant footprint nearby. We learned history and lore, laughed and nodded, and gained new respect and understanding for this amazing city and county.

The last long hill we hiked up.
The high up view
The pictures you get…
when two people take selfies at the same time. 🤣

After the tour we were all ready for dinner.

Choosing the spot for dinner.

We went to a great tapas restaurant.

We’ve been laughing about “scrumbled” eggs, our new favorite way to cook them. 😉
The cheese board
Icy cold sangria
A stop for gelato was required.

A walk through the festival market,

Back up all those stairs,

Back down the final hill,

And we were home for the night.

Lisbon Day 2 Album