My husband, sister and myself drove from Cascais via the Marginal (the coastal road linking Cascais to Lisbon), past the Discoveries Monument , the view of the Bridge crossing the river Tagus - 25 de Abril (25th of April Bridge) - and parked the car in the city.
|Bridge 25th April with Christ the King statue on the other side of the River Tagus|
We walked to Rua da Conceicao and caught the tram already packed with tourists on their way to one of Lisbon's seven hills. Up the narrow cobbled streets we went, and got off when the driver announced the Castle stop.
|Tram 28 on the way to the city centre|
From the pergola of Santa Luzia, you can see the National Pantheon (Panteao Nacional) and the Monastery of Saint Vincent (Igreja de Sao Vicente de Fora) - on the left and right of the photo below.
|The National Pantheon to the left (round dome) , St Estevan Church and the Alfama suburb|
The National Pantheon (as seen on the left of previous photo)
On the walls of the Sao Bras church, facing the pergola are two tiled panels - The one on the right is of "Commerce Square" (Praca do Comercio) before Lisbon was struck by the earthquake of 1755, and the panel on the left depicts St. George's Castle being taken over from the Moors in 1147.
We got back on the street, and just a few metres to the left there was another lookout - Portas do Sol (Miradouro das Portas do Sol), above the Alfama district with magnificent views once again. On the terrace below there is a Cafe if you want to rest while you admire the views.
At the centre of this square is a statue of Saint Vincent - Lisbon's patron saint - holding the symbols of the city - a boat and 2 ravens.
In the distance you can see St Vincent's Monastery (Igreja de Sao Vicente de Fora), which was built in 1627.
To complete this setting, an elderly man sang some soulful "Fado" songs and people dropped a few coins into his hat.
|Portas do Sol Square and lookout terrace - St Vincent statue and St Vincent Monastery|
|Statue of St Vincent, the city's patron Saint|
|The Fado player|
Time to leave this idyllic spot and climb the cobbled streets up to the St George's Castle.
Built in the 6th century, part of it was destroyed in the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755.
On the way up we came across this public urinol, I wonder if it's still used?
The castle is open from 9am to 6pm in winter and to 9pm in summer, tickets cost $8,50.
We opted for not going inside the castle as we still had lots to see, but I know that the views from the Castle over the city are amazing, so if you have some time go inside.
|Public urinol near St George's castle|
|One of the staircases near the castle|
Within the Castle's thick outer walls there is a small neighbourhood of Santa Cruz.
We just decided to have a short break and have a Portuguese custard tart (pastel de natal) and a hot drink at "The World needs nata" right across the entry to the Castle.
Wow, the tarts were good, warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon, oozy when you bit into them.... Just delicious!!
|Tram 28 again|