TODAY STARTED out a bit slow by comparison to the previous days. My wife and I had some breakfast and walked around a bit. We met our fellow travelers just after noon and decided – with nothing formally scheduled – to take the extolled “Tram 28.” By just after noon, the very popular sightseeing tram had a pretty long line, and we ended up waiting for it for about 1/2 hour. But the trip was fun, and at one point, we all had to exit the tram and board another one. At times, as the tram traveled through the residential and business sections of the city, it became very crowded – as in standing room only. But it was a fun experience. Though we had purchased all-day transportation tickets, we didn’t really get on or off much. Other than the obligatory exit noted above, we only got off one more time.
I Have learned from experience that it is virtually impossible to make good images from a moving vehicle . . . Better to just enjoy the ride and the sights
TRAM 28 took us through some pretty interesting parts of the city. But I didn’t really try to make photographs. I Have learned from experience that it is virtually impossible to make good images from a moving vehicle. In my years of riding busses, trains, hop-on-hop-offs, and cars, I have made maybe one or two salvageable photos. Better to just enjoy the ride and the sights.
PRIOR TO “re-boarding” the second tram, we had agreed to get off at the Miradouro das Portas do Sol sol stop, to walk around, and to have a bite to eat and a drink, overlooking the ocean at this well-known Lisbon viewpoint. the Miradouro das Portas do Sol (roughly translated: “gateway to the sun”) is perhaps Lisbon’s most noted and popular viewpoint (miradouro). The image below is the classic viewpoint, seen many times on the internet. I had to do it too. 🙂
FROM THE das Portas do Sol viewpoint you can see across the Tagus river to Almada, and a very wide view of both Lisbon and Alamada in the far distance. The Lisbon Cruise terminal is also at the riverfront below the viewpoint, as you can see from the single cruise ship docked there. We sat along the rail under the far white roofed structure, and had drinks and some appetizers.
THIS MIRADOURO is in the district of the city known as the Alfama. It is also the Moorish part of the city (hence the name Alfama, which is of Moorish origin). There is still a substantial Moorish/Portuguese population here. The district has a more residential, and “older” vibe, with local markets and small local restaurants more the norm. While the others opted to re-board Tram 28, I decided to walk back to the Hotel. It was mainly downhill, and I had, by now, become fairly familiar with the layout of the area and was confident I could find my way back. And, as an added positive, I ended up returning to the area where we began our food walk earlier in the week and found both of the elevator “shortcuts” back down. The image with the cart with its headlights on is in the Alfama, very near there. As an aside, the cart is a “tuk-tuk,” which is a glorified golf cart for passengers. It is a controversial topic in Lisbon. Originating in eastern countries like India and Thailand, these vehicles are the modern, powered version of a rickshaw. As tourism grew rapidly in Lisbon over the past years, “entrepreneurs” from some of these countries saw an economic opportunity. These carts can go many places where the city’s estimable tram, bus and funicular transportation system cannot. For weary tourists (and believe me, I feel the pain), they are an alternative to walking up the many steep hills on the back streets of the city. But Portugal’s residents are not so enthusiastic. Early models were petroleum powered, smelly and noisy. Recently Lisbon passed an ordinance forbidding all but electric versions of the tuk-tuk. That helps. But it is not the only concern. Residents note that with the tuk-tuk comes a much larger influx of the tourist population into the traditionally quiet residential neighborhoods, threatening their tranquility and traditional living circumstances. I didn’t find any resident who liked the tuk-tuks; nor any who would ride them.
MY WALK “home” ended yet another relatively full day – especially the afternoon – and the end of our primary stay in Lisbon. We would return for a couple days at the end, as our flight back stateside was from the Lisbon airport. But our return would put us in a different motel, and I will look back on our 4-day stay with a lot of nostalgia. Tomorrow, we would board a train bound for Porto, and more adventures. As I noted on a recent Facebook Post, as photography is concerned, I just had a feeling that as much as Lisbon offers, photographically, Porto was going to be better! Stay tuned to see if I was right. 🙂
I will be traveling for the next couple weekends and will take a brief break from posting during that time. I hope to return with even more images from another part of our world. When I do return, next up: “On to Porto.” See you soon!