As much fun as we had in the Oriente area of Lisbon, I knew we needed to go to the old part of the city to truly get a taste for Lisbon. Bill and I decided to take the metro to get to that area. But first, I needed to find a post office, so I could drop a couple of postcards in the mail to a friend. As luck would have it, there is a big post office in the train/bus/metro station in the Oriente area. After we mailed the postcards, we went to the metro area and tried to figure out Lisbon’s subway system. As it turns out, it’s not all that intuitive. The ticket machines are not in English. Bill ended up asking an attendant, who was very helpful and told us which trains we needed to take and the correct stop to get off on in order to be downtown. It wasn’t too hard to get from Oriente to Rossio, but I must say, it was quite an interesting change of pace.
The area around the Rossio stop is nothing at all like the Oriente area. As we emerged from the underground, it was like we had entered a new world. Suddenly, all the buildings were old and a bit grimy. A large castle sat on a hillside and there were many people begging for money. It seemed a lot more like Europe.
We saw several people selling roasted chestnuts around the main square. We walked down a crowded boulevard and ended up at yet another large plaza near the waterfront. Guents Dy Rincon, A band from Cape Verde was playing music. I was entertained, so I took a couple of photos. The young black man dancing approached me and asked if I wanted to buy a CD for ten euros. We ended up getting one because I like buying music from street performers. The music is described as “spiritual traditional acoustic music”. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, but I liked what I heard them do live, so I’m sure I’ll like it.
Someone else shot this video and posted it on YouTube. This is Guents Dy Rincon.
Another example of their music, shot by a different YouTuber.
The following photos are scenes of the old town area of Lisbon.
I took these two nighttime shots of the castle with different settings on my camera. We had a beautiful full moon!
After we listened to the band and watched a guy in a wheelchair wheel himself backwards at a very high speed, we wandered over to what was advertised as a “Museum of Beer”. On the way there, we heard a couple of vastly inferior street musicians trying to cover Bob Marley’s “Jamming” and doing a pretty piss poor job of it. I was ready for beer by the time we reached the building, which turned out to be part small beer museum, part restaurant, and part bar. For three euros, you get to see the exhibit, which includes a small beer sample and information about Portugal’s beer culture. The Museum of Beer only offers beers from Portugal or Portuguese speaking countries like Brazil and Angola. I was surprised not only by how good the beer was, but by how widespread Portugal’s influence has been. The exhibit wasn’t large, but it was very interesting. I’m glad we made time for it.
Here’s an interesting article about this museum…
Bill poses with a “monk” in the museum exhibit.
Part of the beer exhibit. It was interesting, but I was much more inclined to hit the bar and drink some beer.
Sagres blonde on draft.
Sagres dark on draft.
Bill decides if he wants a draft or bottled beer. The museum offers local beers on tap and bottled beers from other Portuguese speaking countries in bottles. They also have very cool glasses that I kind of wish I’d bought for our own collection.
A shot of the bar area…
I think the bartender got a kick out of us because we sure drank our fair share. I knew I would regret it on the way back to Oriente, especially since none of the metro stations seemed to have any restrooms, even though they did have shops and cafes. Needless to say, the trains didn’t have potties either. Kind of made me miss Germany, where the S Bahns usually have facilities, even if they aren’t the most sanitary.
iPhone versions of the castle…
On the way back to Oriente, I really had to pee… I kind of felt like this guy as I pranced back to the metro.
I got a kick out of the notice at the bottom of the page of this menu, warning against alcohol abuse. It was on every page… Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. The Museum of Beer did me in.
All in all, we enjoyed Lisbon. I wouldn’t mind going back, though I’d probably stay in a different part of the city. When we got back to the hotel room, we decided it was time to go to Spain. After a quick dinner at the Hippopotamus Restaurant at the hotel, we booked cheap tickets on an early flight on Air Europa to Madrid and two nights at Hotel Atlantico.