One of several mimes we met along Lisbon’s Rua Augusta. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)
Leaving Barcelona meant we would soon be leaving the Mediterranean.Our time exploring several of the Western World’s most beautiful and historic areas was drawing to an end. We sailed past the Rock of Gibraltar and watched the sunset over North Africa. Our final stop on the European Continent would be Lisbon, after which we would begin our journey by ship across the Atlantic– a lifetime bucket list item of mine.
As our ship passed by the Rock of Gibraltar, we left the Mediterranean Sea behind. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)
Later we watched the sunset over the North Coast of Africa.
Lisbon is one of Europe’s most ancient cities. Celts, Phoenicians, Romans, Germanic tribes, and Moors had all called it home at one time or the other. In the 1500s the small country of Portugal was a world power with colonies in South America, Africa and the East Indies. Five years ago Peggy and I had traveled to Albufeira on the south coast of Portugal and then wandered north to the fascinating walled city of Evora before flying out of Lisbon. This time we entered Lisbon by sea, passing the UNESCO Heritage site of Belem Tower and sailing under the 25 of April Bridge, which commemorates the overthrow of Portugal’s dictator Antonio Salazar in 1974.
We passed by Belem Tower. Built in the 1500s, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Ponte 25 de Abril serves as the gateway to Lisbon. It is patterned after the Bay Bridge across the San Francisco Bay.
What the April 25 Bridge looks like from below.
Since we only had four hours in Portugal, we decided to focus on the Rua Augusta, Lisbon’s bustling pedestrian street in the heart of the city. We stopped to admire the Rua Augusta Arch, strolled along the street, checked out several mimes, had a great lunch and ended our European experience in Rossio Square where the people of Portugal have been gathering for centuries.
At first, I thought this was a statue honoring Mozart. Then I realized he was another mime. The pigeons offered a special touch…
As everyone knows, pigeons have a fondness for statues. We found these on a statue in Rossio Square at the upper end of Rua Augusta.
The arch at the beginning of Rua Augusta.
This flower stall we found added a touch of color to a side street off of the Rua Augusta.
And scarves added color to these Christmas decorations. Many of the walls in Lisbon were covered with tiles as shown here and in the window reflection.
We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant on the Rua Augusta. Here Peggy offers a toast to Portugal and our trip through the Mediterranean.
This photo shows the unique mosaic-like pattern of the Rua Augusta walkway.
This mosaic pattern on Rossio Square at the top of Rua Augusta could make you seasick.
The ferris wheel we found on Rossio Square is the most colorful I have ever seen.
The merry-go-round on Rossio Square was equally colorful.
Like so many other squares we had visited in Europe, Rossio Square had a fountain featuring semi-clad statues.
A look up the hill reminded us of all the areas we would have to explore on another visit.
The sun setting behind the April 25 Bridge meant it was time to resume our journey.
A final view of the bridge as we sailed off into the night and the Atlantic Ocean.
NEXT BLOG: We stop off at the Azores Islands.