Racing the Weather

I took my lunch just outside the Castle of Sao Jorge. When I’d walked into the site, I had spotted four food trucks, and I was immediately taken with the crepe truck. Who wouldn’t want a sausage crepe?

For the record, the sausage was a thin sliced hot dog, and the entire thing was a conglomeration of crepe, hot dog, cheese, catsup, and mustard. It was … underwhelming. But at least it was lunch. And I ate it in the castle park with the town of Lisbon spread out below me.

Today is supposed to be the only sunny day of this trip for me, so I tried to pack in as much as possible – at least all of the stuff that might require or benefit from a substantial amount of time spent outdoors.

I started at the Sé de Lisboa, the Cathedral of Lisbon. After the Moors had been driven from Portugal, this was the first church that was built in Lisbon, and because they anticipated a need to defend it, it has battlements.

It’s a lovely cathedral, with soaring arches.

And this beautiful rosette.

It was after this that I walked up to the castle, stopping briefly to take in the view from the Miradouro de Santa Luzia.

The castle honestly wasn’t that exciting, other than the views of the surrounding city.

This area within the castle grounds was dedicated to excavations, with some ancient and some Islamic excavations marked off. It was a trek to get to the site, but as I wasn’t visiting at a dedicated time I didn’t get to actually see them.

After lunch I hopped on a crowded tram and rode to Belem, well to the west of downtown. There I visited the Jerónimos Monastery, the ancient history museum, and the Belem Tower.

The ancient history museum was lame, which is quite a statement, because in general I love ancient history. I’ll admit that I may have entirely missed something, but there just wasn’t much there.

On the other hand, the monastery was breathtaking, with it’s carved stone cloisters beckoning one to sit and think, this felt like a very thoughtful, contemplative place.

There were infinite views and places to pause, and the entire structure was an absolute marvel.

After that I stopped at the Belem Tower, the gateway to Lisbon via the sea. It was from here that Portugese explorers began and ended their journeys across the seas. It is a beautiful fortification with lovely views of the Tagus River (since it sits in the river). We weren’t allowed to climb all the way to the top of the tower, which disappointed me, but the narrow spiral staircase was problematic for the crowds, so perhaps that’s ok.

After that I paused and sat at a cafe on the river with an espresso and a pastel de nata, watching the boats and the birds sail by.

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