Lisbon and Porto

Two and ½ years ago our friends Bill Boyle and Karen Lewis invited us to join them on the Camino del Norte to walk from San Sebastián to Santiago de Compostela. We gladly accepted their offer and then due to Covid they decided to bow out and we walked part of that Camino by ourselves in September of 2021 until we had to bow out. Early this year they informed us that they were going to walk a shorter Camino from Porto Portugal to Santiago de Compostela Spain. We had no plans to ever walk another Camino as Jim has a real struggle to hike up any significant hills. After looking at the altitude profile and distances Jim made the final decision to accompany them on the Caminho Português da Costa. We are flying directly from Boston to Lisbon and Bill and Karen have to fly from Denver CO through Newark. They arrived in Lisbon around 8am and checked into our Airbnb for a quick nap before we arrived a couple of hours later.

Bill and Jim were high school classmates starting their Sophomore year. They then attended the rest of high school, parts of college and all of medical school together, rooming together for the first year of medical school. There has been 50 years and a lot of separation since graduating medical school but after Bill finally married for the first time at age 49 and somewhat settled down they have become close again. Karen and Bill will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on this Camino, October 3.

Leaving Boston on TAP Air Portugal.
Ready to start our third Camino together.
Sandy ready to watch movies rather than sleep.
Marquis de Pombal Square on Avenida de Liberdade in Lisbon.
View from our Airbnb balcony.
The very first thing we did with Bill and Karen was to take them out for pastel de nata’s. Bill has had one every day since then.
We did a little walking tour initially to keep us all awake after our overnight flights.
While trying to figure out where to walk next we caught sight of a bright yellow electric tour car.
Since Lisbon is the city of seven hills we decided to ride a few of them and took an hour long very bumpy tour.
Sylvain is a frenchman giving English speaking tours in Lisbon. He only paid attention to driving now and then.
Typically French, he was quite into himself. We were only able to understand parts of his rapid fire tour in his French/Portuguese accented English.
Azulejo tiles decorate both the inside and outside of many buildings in Portugal. These iconic blue and white tiles have become a hallmark of Portuguese architecture. It is believed these tiles were inspired from the Ming Dynasty porcelain designs from China.
One of the many lovely overlooks of the seven Lisbon hills.
As you can see in this photo Lisbon is a major destination for cruise ships.
There are many spectacular murals on the buildings.
Another vista
We had a late al fresco lunch before returning home for an early night.
This was our Lisbon home for two nights.
View from our Apartment.
These guards are outside the ruins of the Igreja do Carmo which was destroyed on November 1, 1755 by a horrible earthquake that caused the death of many people. The line was very long to get into see it so we opted not to queue up as we had such a short time here. We had already seen it on a visit to Lisbon in November of 2014.
Karen and Bill was given a stuffed animal by their granddaughter to take with them on the Camino. Here is Ollie the Otter’s debut in Lisbon.
It was a picture perfect kind of day.
We visited the Lisbon Botanical Garden which consisted mostly of global plants and trees.
We had an opportunity to experience Lisbon’s subway as we zipped back to central Lisbon and the waterfront.
Cork seats.
Ollie stayed safely snugged in Bill’s backpack everywhere we went.
We were amazed at the workmanship that went into the beautiful stone sidewalks and streets. These white and black limestone designs are called calcada portuguese and are made by very skilled artisans.
The Cathedral of Saint Mary Major is the oldest and most important church in Lisbon. Its construction dates back to the 12th century and is predominately Romanesque style. From the outside the cathedral is protected by thick walls framed by two bell towers which give the appearance of a medieval fortress.
Main Altar.
Arco da Rua Augusta was built to commemorate the city’s reconstruction after the 1755 earthquake.
Rose stained glass window.
We came across these musicians practicing for a performance that was to be later that evening. We sat and listened to them for awhile. Enjoy this brief video of the lovely music.
We found a great Nepalese Restaurant in the Santa Justa neighborhood.
As you can see and hear in this video the streets of Lisbon come alive at night.
Beautiful tiled square in Lisbon
Karen is learning how to call an Uber to take us to the train station for our trip to Porto.
Lisbon train station.
We met this lovely 80 year old woman named Heather from Alaska at the Lisbon train station who was traveling to Porto to meet up with her friend Jennifer to walk the coastal route of the Portuguese Camino.
Ollie is excited to ride the train.
Arriving at the Porto train station about two hours late due to delays before the train arrived in Lisbon. This is not the downtown Porto station seen in other pictures later.
We had a lovely hotel suite with a panoramic view over Porto. It was on the 16th floor just under the rooftop restaurant and bar.
Catholic Church on Santa Catarina street in Porto. We lived off of this main street for a few weeks last summer.
Porto train station has azulejos tiles depicting historical life scenes and is considered one of the more beautiful train stations in the world. Unfortunately we did not come into this station from Lisbon as it is very close to our hotel.

This is the end of our Lisbon/Porto time. Tomorrow morning we start our pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

4 responses to “Lisbon and Porto”

  1. Chanda McKee MS RN Avatar
    Chanda McKee MS RN

    What an amazing and exciting adventure you’ve embarked upon once again! And to be joining “old” friends will make the trip that much more worthwhile! Be safe, have a blast, and experience everything you can….. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxo Chanda

  2. David and Bonnie Swanson Avatar
    David and Bonnie Swanson

    David and I are so curious to hear about your Portuguese Camino, and compare to ours a year and a half ago. Looks like the weather will be perfect (cross fingers).

  3. You always both do such a complete and fabulous blog – including the photos !! So thrilled you have made this journey with us ! Karen

    1. We are thrilled to be making this pilgrimage with you guys.

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