Having researched what to see in Lisbon, I had come up with a couple of walking maps that I found on the internet. We (my husband, a friend and I) to set off from our apartment in Rua dos Remedios, in the middle of the Alfama District. This first walk was to get ourselves acquainted with the area. Along the way, we hoped to catch a glimpse of that famous No 28 Tram.
We were not disappointed. Getting “lost” in Alfama is easy and exciting as there is so much to see. If you go up, you will reach the castle. Head downhill, you will reach the waterfront. The entire area is a maze of narrow streets, alleys, steps (oh so many of those) and courtyards.
Tiles are everywhere. Street art adorns old buildings, while trellises covered in greenery offer a cool reprieve or perhaps reveal a place for refreshments.
Then there were those clotheslines displaying the family’s washing right outside the front windows.
There are many miradouros (lookouts) for you to take a rest and enjoy amazing views. Miradouro da Graca and Miradouro de Santa Luzia were a couple of the many we stopped by.
One of the advantages of staying in a central place is that you can walk for hours, go back to your apartment for a rest, then go out again in the late afternoon or evening.
Take the time to stop and observe your surroundings. Peer inside public courtyards and shops (I found some amazing tiles in the local launderette). Watch the trams go by, take photos of the coloured doors and old windows, little street cafes, and of course all of those steps.
Prior research steered me in the direction of some famous street art and very old tiles. Our street had tiles dating back to 1749. These tiles survived the 1755 earthquake. In fact, a large part of Alfama was unscathed by this earthquake, providing an insight into life as it was back in that era.
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