domingo, outubro 14, 2007

Day 3 - Lisbon is beautiful, I say

I'm still up, with no hint of sleep. So I guess the best I have to do is writing yet another post...

On Monday I went to the bank. My last credit card never showed up, so I had to go there and do things. I don't really like banks, specially when it feels like they own your life, but things went good and now I'm waiting for news... I NEED a credit card! Online shopping is waiting for me!

After that, I quickly visit Mari's place. I met her mother, who had told me I HAD to visit her while in Portugal. She told me that me not going there would be unthinkable!

By then I had had my hair cut. At the same place I had been going for a while. But only now I learned that my hairdresser (not hair stylist as hairdressers like being called in Japan!) had lived in the US for 10 years and that her children were born there! Plus, I got a really cool hair do... Something difficult in Japan, I have to say!

After all this, I met my father at the day care centre where my grandmother goes for lunch, as she had forgotten her list of pills (when to take, what to take and so on). Like we say in Portugal, the only thing she doesn't leave behind is her head, because it's stuck to her body!

And off we went to have lunch with my other grandmother, in Odivelas, that great city just outside Lisbon.

I had a great steak, with fries, rice and a fried egg. Portuguese style. Something I missed! The steak was so big, I couldn't eat it all!

Look at my grandmother and father posing with my famous sunglasses:

After lunch, my father dropped me at Pontinha, another great place to visit (NOT) in Lisbon. Actually, it means "little edge"... Interesting, isn't it?

You might ask why the heel did I take a picture at the underground station. For one simple reason, I say: the subway in Lisbon is one of the best I know and one of the most beautiful. The stations can be real pieces of art. This one isn't, but I do like the sun light coming in!

A mere 15 minutes after, I was downtown, in the most beautiful city in the world.
Despite the weird rainy weather in the morning, the day was just beautiful, with a wonderful blue sky and the amazing light Lisbon always has!
It's impossible not to love this city!

Everywhere I go, even in Portugal, I always miss Lisbon's sidewalks. Real pieces of art, all hand put. Stone by stone!

And this is one my favorite buildings in the city! Can you guess what's inside?

Right now, not much, actually! But it is a railway station. It is being renovated (for ages now), as the tunnel going there was in danger of collapsing and the authorities closed the place just like that. It was supposed to open on my birthday. But it didn't!
Isn't great the way we prepare and carefully plan things in Portugal?
Still, it's beautiful, this neo-manueline style building.

Right next to it, there's one of the main squares in Lisbon: Rossio. The same name of the train station.

Long before I left to Lisbon, I was in desperate need of diving into this beautiful city! As you might agree (for the ones who know them), Japanese cities are not beautiful. Loads of concrete, pavement everywhere, ugly architecture (except for some smaller picturesque places). Sometimes it's hard... But, well, there I was, amidst beauty!

I took the way up to Chiado, an area that burned in 1988, when I was at the hospital. The entire country was horrified (about the fire, not me being at the hospital).

One of the many good things about Lisbon, is that, in the the old areas, you can always see the river. If you look closely, you can see it at the end of the street!

By then, I was going around, not only admiring the place, but also looking for small gifts to bring. I wanted to get them all as soon as possible, so I would have no worries. My plan actually worked!

Another great imagine in Lisbon is the tramways. Very old, but with a very special aura. I pray to the gods they never take them away, as that would be a very bad mistake.

I like taking the trams and seeing, not the tourists, but the old and young people that live in the typical neighborhoods and that take the tram to go home. I wish I could do that one day!

This is an old jeweller's in the city. Despite the infinity of shopping centres, these shops survive. And that's a very good thing, I say!

After the Chiado, I went to Carmo, next to the only vertical public elevator in the city (some pictures will come later). The view is absolutely amazing, specially due to the amazing sky.

Breathtaking views, right? There will be more to follow, don't you worry!

And here it is part of the elevator I told you about, designed by an Eiffel apprentice. The overpass was closed for my years, as the building under it was being rebuilt, following the huge fire in 1988. I'm glad everything is back to the way it's supposed to be.

When you leave the elevator, you walk next to the Carmo convent, one of the few buildings that survived the huge 1755 earthquake, that destroyed old Lisbon. It was never rebuilt and it now houses a museum. I have to confess I have never been there. And because it was Monday, the museum was closed, so I had to postpone my visit yet again...

And next to the convent, there's a police quarter. It's not the regular police, but a military style police that serves the civil community. Hard to understand? Well, for me too!
Anyway, this place is important because it was here that the 1974 carnation revolution took place. It was here that some army captains cornered the prime minister of the right wing dictatorship. Some shots were fired, and the holes can still be seen on the building, but no one was killed then.
The square was full of people, still the captains were enlightened enough to drive the prime minster out of there into exile.

And whenever I talk about the revolution on the streets, I remember a story my mother tells me:
In 1974, she was working at an electronics company with my godmother. That day, they were sent home. Their boss told them there had been a revolution. Still, they ended up in Rossio, where thousands of people were celebrating the end of the dictatorship and awaiting any developments. Still, and being young and naive, they thought it was just a party!
Crazy girls!

Enough of history now. I bet half of you are now sleeping or almost getting there...

I met my cousin at, yet another, shopping centre at Chiado. She works at a cell-phone company job (TMN), and it was very nice meeting her. But she works loads! Poor thing!

After that, I went up to Bairro Alto, a quiet area during the day and a crazy party place all night long, with bars at every corner. I would never live there! Not me, the one who hears everything, even while asleep!

I stopped for a picture at Bica elevator. Yet another picture with the river at the back...

It's interesting seeing Bairro Alto during the day: on one side, the closed bars and funky shops, on the other side the veggies shops and the old butchers serving the people that still live there!

As you can tell, I walked a lot on this day! But it didn't matter, because I was feeling great, being there.

After Chiado, Carmo and Bairro Alto, I went to Downtown again.

And then again to Chiado, where I waited for Daniel. I always wait for him, anyway!

We went to Santa Catarina. I think that not many people know about this beautiful place. You can see the river, the bridge, the other side and the sun going down... And the tv antennas, which used to be everywhere before cable...

And here's Daniel. I like him very much! He is so interesting, intelligent and funny! It's always a pleasure!

We talked for a while, about him, New York, me and Japan... We went to Alfaia for dinner, where I had their amazing grilled squids! I'm starting to think that I'm addicted to squid!

We walked down hill, passed by the national opera house, Teatro Sao Carlos, and then parted ways. It was time to sleep.

And now wish me good luck... I'm going to try and get some more sleep before facing the Japanese school system. Believe me, I need all the strength I can get!

5 comentários:

Pipinho disse...

entao e a loja dos sabonetes? e o frontespício da Qne? e o 11 e o 1? e todos aqueles ícones tao pessoais e intransmissíveis? E o elevador da glória? e?... ;)

Cris disse...

Fico contente por teres chegado bem, priminho:-)

Chiado rules!!!!


Rosarinho disse...

ahahahah ..pareces mesmo já um nativo, so a tirar fotografias ...eheh ..olha quando regressares( se isso fizer parte dos teus planos) acho que davas um bom guia turistico? ja pensaste nas possibilidades? :)))

mpaula disse...

Our Angelo, a kind of national embassador abroad - I love you dear!

Lily disse...

Fabulous photo's and I really enjoyed your account of your journey to Lisbon. I agree, it IS the most beautiful city in the world!