Each time I have a city break it turns out to be a walking holiday. This morning I decided to visit the beach at Carcavelos, about 10 minutes due south of here. It is February, yet many surfers were out in their wet suits, others were jogging on the sandy beach or along the concrete promenade below the main coast road. It was around 17 degrees Celcius and I was sweltering under a hot sun. The locals of my generation were wrapped up against the Spring chill. They will probably feel comfortable when Summer comes, I would melt.
Along the coast to the west, in profile, was a fortress-like building on a promontory; I like buildings with towers so decided to take a closer look. It is a military base doubling as the
local lighthouse, red lanterns clearly visible close up. And no one is allowed inside.
Next back towards town and the railway station; a repeat ride to Cais do Sodres, then a walk up the hill through the old city. Imagine 4 to 5 storey buildings built into the hillside. The rear of them is only 1 or 2 storeys high. The street going up hill is carried by a bridge over the road to the rear, spanning over to the next 5 storey group. And so on. I was amazed at the civil engineering skill to densely populate such a steep incline.
At the top it was time to sit in a little square for refreshments, near a church building now fallen into disrepair and housing a museum of South American antiquities. Alongside is a century-old vertical road lift to take you down to the Av. da Liberdade, mentioned yesterday. My pictures of that are in my camera and inaccessible till I get home. But I have this photo from my phone to prove just how hilly this part of Lisbon is.
23 February, 2011