Sao Jorge Castle & Alfama

Sao Vicente Church

Considering that the forecast called for rain, we had a fantastic day with a little bit of everything. There  were light showers interspersed with sun and clear sky.  The highlight of the day was visiting the Castelo de Sao Jorge. While we were there, the rain cleared and the sun sparkled on the trees an puddles. The view of Lisbon from the castle was excellent. The treed courtyards and outer ramparts were a great combination of history and nature. 

After the castle, we wandered the streets and visited a few viewpoints and churches (Igreja da Gracas and Igreja da Sao Vincente) while  heading to the Alfama district.   There was a devastating earthquake that destroyed most of  Lisbon in 1755. Alfama survived the earthquake, making it the the  oldest district in Lisbon.  Many of the buildings in Lisbon are covered in tile with intricate patterns (azulejos). We read that the people used the tiles as a cheap way of decorating structures when rebuilding after the earthquake.  

Marko and I usually try save money by avoiding tourist areas when we have to grab a bite to eat. Today we ducked into a place that advertised cheap kebabs.  Turns out the place was a shady hang-out for locals. Marko was offered several types of drugs, umbrellas and knock-off sunglasses while our meal was being prepared.  Marko declined, but we had espresso and a glass of port wine that the bartender gave us free of charge.  An older gentleman had a conversation with Marko in Portuguese about wine, health and women (at least that’s what Marko got from the conversation).   Even though the people were shady by profession, they were generally respectful and would back off when we declined.  That seems to be the case for most of the street vendors (legal and illegal) and restaurant owners in Lisbon. By the way, the food was delicious; when it was ready, we left and ate under a tree. 

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