Our 3rd day in Lisbon, and today it's about seeing a few more sites then hitting up a beach somewhere to enjoy the sun.
With limited time in Lisbon, the Belém area is a must — even if only for the Pasteis de Belém — but the monastery is a must see if you have any interest in architecture, art or history. Probably the number one tourist spot in Lisbon, therefore expect the lines to be long all day, every day.
The design and detailed craftsmanship is world class, and is easily one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture I have ever seen. The monastery is also the home to the tombs of several notable Portuguese figures such as Vasco da Gama, Alexandre Herculano, Luis de Camoes and some of the kings of Portugal. Free to enter and wander around, tours are also available at a small cost.
First stop of the day — Pastéis de Belém
Always busy, even first thing in the morning — Pastéis de Belém
Time to check out Jerónimos Monastery
Amazing from the outside
And from the inside
Amazing architecture, and the Tomb of Vasco da Gama was quite impressive
Jerónimos Monastery viewed from Jardim da Praça do Império
This 7 km promenade that stretches from Praça do Comércio to the Belém district can easily take a full day. We've opted to do the small stretch between the monastery and the tower, and even along this small stretch the riverwalk is dotted with all kinds of places offering fun, food and a little bit of culture.
The Love Monument — a freestanding grid installation — provides a safe (as opposed to bridges, which are so not safe) place for peeps to hang their locks while looking out over the Tagus River. It's located at the base of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries), a site designed to commemorate Portuguese explorers. Free to look at, but there's a € 4 entrance fee if you want to check out inside.
Love Monument on the Tagus Riverwalk
Thousands of Love Locks attached to the Love Monument on the Tagus Riverwalk
Marina de Belém
The wind rose design in front of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries)
Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) and Ponte 25 de Abril
I guess it's thing to go fishing in the Tagus River
The Belem Lighthouse
Enjoying the sites along the Tagus, on our way to the Torre de Belém
TORRE DE BELÉM
We finally reached the Torre de Belém, which seems to be on every tourist's hit list, and rightfully so. Built between 1514 and 1520 to protect from attacks from the sea, this ancient tower (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) has such an elaborate design and of course has fantastic photo ops.
Line up to go in was a bit long, so we decided to sit outside, enjoy the view and treat ourselves to drinks via the many drink stands beside the tower.
Interesting tidbit: the tower was actually built in the middle of the river until an earthquake shifted the river's route.
Torre de Belém
I think that long walk in the heat deserves a cocktail or two
Maybe this is better option to hydrate
Torre de Belém
Enjoying the views beside the Torre de Belém
Gago Coutinho Seaplane — Monument to first Portuguese Atlantic flight
No way we're walking back to Alcantara, it's Tuk-Tuk time
BOCA DO INFERNO
So, it's time to find a beach to spend a few hours doing...nothing. Along the way, we stop at Boca do Inferno, or "Mouth of Hell". Don't let the name freak you out. It's an unbelievably gorgeous spot where you feel mother nature's beauty... and power.
The cliffs, the rock formations and the strength of the ocean when the waves crash through the "mouth" (basically a big-ass rock with whole in the middle leading into a circular cave-like area) makes it worthy of its name.
A quick stop at Boca do Inferno (cliff formation close to Cascais)
Boca do Inferno
Enjoying watching the waves hit the rock formations t Boca do Inferno
Since we'd already spent 4 days lazing on Algarve beaches, we're going through a bit of withdrawal. We're told to head to Cascais or Estoril, both are popular coastal towns just a 30-minute drive from the centre of Lisbon.
We check out the Cidadela de Cascais, then look for a spot along the coast. There's beaches everywhere, but trying to find a spot is another story.
It's 5pm and it seems instead of going out for a happy hour drink after work like us Montrealers, these folks, spend their happy hour at the beach. Tons of peeps dressed in business suits, strip down to their skivvies, pull a beach towel out of their briefcase and find a little slice of sand. How I wish this was an option for an after work happy hour at home!
Another quick stop at the Cidadela de Cascais
Dom Carlos I Monument
Peninsular War statue in front of the fortress
Time to find a beach to park our asses on for the rest of the day — Cascais
Maybe this beach?
Found a beach — not like it was that hard to find — beaches are everywhere
Snagged a perfect spot
I could get used to this
Well that's that for day 3 in Lisbon, more.... coming soon!
Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON
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