Today we awoke to find ourselves in Portugal, well, most passengers did, I awoke to find us still on our way.
I couldn’t sleep; I kept tossing and turning all night. Eventually I put the TV on in my cabin and hit channel 9 so I could see the webcam. To my delight I was greeted by a blinding glare from the rising sun. I jumped up out of bed, threw some clothes on, grabbed my camera and made my way out onto the open deck to take a few pictures.
It was perfect, rarely am I awake early enough during my cruise to catch the sunrise but this time I was and I was so pleased. It was beautiful and it also allowed me for the first time in all my visits here to sail into Lisbon under the bridge and not just out. This is a great sight; I am not entirely sure what the clearance is, maybe 30 feet? Don’t hold me to that one though. The noise from the traffic above is very strange, imagine a swarm of bees, that humming sound, which is the only way I can describe the noise from the overhead traffic.
There were quite a few people up and about which surprised me, the buffet seemed quite busy for breakfast too. I decided to head back to my cabin, dress myself properly then re-emerge ready to eat and then go ashore.
This was my 5th visit here I think so again nothing new. I made plans to spend a few hours ashore with a friend then would return back to the ship.
We left at about 10am and boarded the shuttle bus for the short drive into the city centre. This takes roughly 15 minutes from where we were docked so not long at all. It was another hot and stuffy day but I think by now I was just starting to get used to the heat day in day out.
We jumped off the shuttle bus and had a nice walk from the very top of the main street all the way down, across the road and onto a little open patch where if you chose too you could dip your feet in the warm sea for a few minutes.
Lisbon is pretty good for shopping, well, depending on what type of shops you look for but should shopping not be your thing you will find no shortage of places to just sit, relax and eat some good local cusine. There are quite a few restaurants serving fresh seafood, one of which displays the live lobster and crab in the window. You should also treat yourself to a bottle of Port whilst in Portugal, its only right. You can find numerous stores selling it and prices range from 3 euro all the way up to and beyond 800 euro.
If you want something a little more sightseeing related then just off the main street you will find the Santa Justa Lift. The lift is a pretty popular tourist attraction and I have heard the views from the top are very impressive indeed. I have walked past it a hundred times but have not once explored it.
Lisbon in some areas reminds me of San Francisco, not only does it have a replica of the Bay Bridge but it also has the trams and in some places extremely steep streets. I have never been to San Francisco but I often look at the streets in Lisbon and think it really does look like something you would see in a movie.
After a few hours and a Ham and Cheese baguette it was time to head back to the ship. We would leave Lisbon the same way we came in, passing underneath the amazing 25th of April Suspension Bridge and with the Cristo Rei (statue of Christ) clearly visible in the distance. This statue is a copy of the same which stands in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and was built in 1959 to thank God for sparing Portugal from entering World War II.
Tomorrow we would find ourselves in Vigo, Spain. This would also be our last port of call.