Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Lisbon - first impressions

My trip from Braga to Lisbon was done in the very comfortable Alfa Pendular, the high velocity (up to 220km/h) train that crosses Portugal from Braga in the north to Faro in the south. 
Due to the fact I had 2 suitcases I decided to travel First class, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience - the seats recline, you are offered a magazine or newspaper to read; tea, free coffee or juice to drink. If you feel hungry you can order a meal if you wish or get something from the restaurant car.
Upon arrival in Lisbon at Gare do Oriente (Orient train station), my brother in law was there to welcome me and take my luggage back to his nearby office, and then I had 2 hours to wander around the area, before he was ready to get a lift to Cascais with him, where my sister and parents live.

The interesting Gare do Oriente(Orient train station) with the "palm tree roof"
Vasco da Gama shopping with a very interesting building behind resembling a ship
The 2 "ship like" apartment buildings with the shopping in the centre
I walked across the staion through the Vasco da Gama shopping centre, and into the former 1998 Expo grounds, now known as "Parque das Nações" (Nations Park) that adjoin the river Tagus. Although the pavilions of the various countries are no longer there, the emblematic Portuguese pavilion is there for posterity, as well as some of the other features built at the time, such as the Cable car, the Oceanarium - one of Europe´s most modern that receives 1 million visitors a year, etc.
It´s quite enjoyable to walk by the river or just sit at one of the cafe´s and sip a cold drink while watching the world go by.

The Portuguese Pavilion
The imponent concret slab linking the two sides of the pavilion
Gil - the mascot of the 1998 world exposition still stands tall
Vasco da Gama tower and cable cars by the river Tagus that is crossed by the 12km Vasco da Gama Bridge.
If you visit Lisbon do not miss this area. It used to be a derelict industrial area that was torn down and built from scratch and is now a very important and much loved area of the city. I had visited this area during the 1998 exposition and a few times after, but I think it has been about 7 or 8 years since I last visited it, and I enjoyed spending 2 relaxing hours walking around the area. It's also a great outdoor area for children.
One of the many "lava" fountains much loved by the kids. Behind the new Lisbon Casino


  1. Que dia lindo! Esse ceu azul, essa luz,...Maravilha! :-)
    Obrigada pela partilha. Assim deu para matar um pouco as saudades :-)

  2. Estava um dia quentinho e tambem gostei imenso de rever esta zona da cidade.

  3. I also liked this area of Lisbon and we went up in the cable car for a better view.

    It was great to meet you on Monday!

  4. I love the "palm tree" roof. All your talk about Da Gama reminds me of the Da Gama cross at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Wikipedia even uses a picture of it on their page on Da Gama.

  5. Carole - I would have loved going up in the cable car, but they scare me!
    Lovely light - yes that would be the same "Vasco da Gama" the navigator, that this Expo area was honoring.

  6. Hi, "the 2 "ship like" apartment buildings" are São Rafael and São Gabriel towers, they were build "ship like" in honor of Vasco da Gama expedition to India. São Gabriel was the name of Vasco da Gama ship and São Rafael the name of is brother Paulo da Gama ship.

  7. Obrigada Fernanda pela visita e pela informaçao, nem sabia que os prédios tinham o nome dos barcos da expedição á India.

    Thanks for visiting Fernanda e thanks for the information, I didn´t know that the two ship like buildings had been named after the ships that went to India.


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