Enjoying Lisbon in 2020

Enjoying Lisbon from the First Day

Enjoying Lisbon:  I'm going to tell you my best days in Lisbon, which was the capital of an empire. All lisboa remembers his glorious padado. Like when sailors came out to discover and conquer lands on the other side of the world.

You see old faded tiles on their facades. Peeling walls and stone streets lined with old trams. No great luxuries or European stores are sought in this city, although they do. What is sought and found is a melancholic beauty, art, imperfection and the charm of the people.

Lisbon Tram tour - Enjoying Lisbon in 2020
Lisbon Tram tour - Enjoying Lisbon in 2020

Portugal is fashionable

Last year it was awarded for the second time as Europe's Best Destination in the World Travel Awards (WTA) They are prizes of the world tourism industry. And Lisbon turned out to be the Best City in Europe and the Best Cruise Port.

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The Tajo River

At the mouth of the Tajo River, facing the Atlantic Ocean, the capital of Portugal has seven hills. Rome too, although they are totally different.

Like Rome, Lisbon was the capital of an empire. It was rich and powerful. Adventuress. I conquer seas and land in the five continents

But in 1755 at the height of his empire an earthquake of scale 9 along with a Tsumani, buried and killed a third of its inhabitants, about 95,000 on a population of 280,000.

Tajo River - Enjoying Lisbon in 2020
Tajo River - Enjoying Lisbon in 2020

Earthquake, Tsunami and Fires

The reports that arrived until today indicate that the earthquake lasted six minutes. It produced cracks up to 4 meters wide in the center of the city. The population fled to the open space of the beach for safety. There 30 minutes later, a tsunami with waves up to 20 meters high buried the port and the inhabitants.

The upper part of the city began to burn, because of the huge number of candles lit in the houses and churches. that day was a religious celebration. Deads day. The fires lasted 5 days before going out

Everything Was Lost

The city had to be completely rebuilt. The losses were enormous. The Royal Palace and the Real do Paço da Ribeira Theater, where the Plaça do Comércio, ( Trade Square) is located, next to the river, were destroyed. Works of art by masters of painting such as Rubens, Titian, Correggio, also destroyed. The great library, with real records that narrated the explorations by the ocean of its most important navigators, such as Vasco da Gama and letters about the discovery of Brazil, were also lost.

What Can We See in Lisbon?

Plaça do Comércio, with its beautiful arch, is the main square of the city. Overlooking the river Tajo and behind the arcades, you will find the oldest cafe in Lisbon. It is called Martinho da Arcada (Plaça do Comércio 3), founded in 1778.

My Lovely Days in Lisbon - Santa Lucia viewpoint
My Best Days in Lisbon - Santa Lucia viewpoint

From the Martinho bar you can take the walk towards Alfama. It is less than a mile uphill, by Alfândenga rúa.

Lisbon: Alfama Neighborhood

Alfama is a medieval neighborhood, where fado was born, the national musical genre. And also where the fishermen lived in recent times. It is very visited by the charm of its steep, labyrinthine streets, with very simple shops.

You can also have a coffee at the tables on the street. next to clothes rendered. Very charming to enjoy Lisbon in this way

In the Rua (street) of the Bacalhoeiros, the street that was destined to the merchants of the cod, favorite fish of the Portuguese, you arrive at Casa dos Bicos, current headquarters of the José Saramago Foundation.

In the lower part of Alfama, this sixteenth century mansion was built under the order of Brás de Albuquerque (son of the Viceroy of India, Alfonso de Albuquerque) after a trip to Italy, which was modeled on the Palace of Diamonds, located in Ferrara. That is the reason for the fornas and reliefs of its façade.

Praça do Comércio Lisbon Portugal
Praça do Comércio Lisbon Portugal

Casa dos Bicos dedicates a permanent exhibition about the life and work of the Nobel Prize for Literature - Jose Saramago -, called The Seed and the Fruits. It gathers numerous manuscripts, documents, first editions and translations in more than 40 languages, of the first Nobel Prize in Portuguese Literature. The Portuguese writer died in 2010 at his home in Lanzarote. His ashes rest under an olive tree in front of this foundation. 

Praza do Comercio - Square Trade - Enjoying Lisbon in 2020
Praca do Comercio - Square Trade - Enjoying Lisbon in 2020

Fado: The Music of Lisbon

Going up the Rua (street) of São Jõao da Praça you can see many restaurants and fado houses to enjoy a dinner with live music. Alfama is the ideal place to enjoy this popular genre of more than 200 years of history, which tells the daily sorrows of the people of these old fishing districts.

A place with excellent fame to hear Fado, is the restaurant Mr. Fado. It is a small place with an intimate, family atmosphere, where homemade food is served. Located on the street - rua dos Remedios 176. It is attended by its owners, who cook and also sing.

Belem Neighborhood

To visit the Neighborhood of belem take tram #15 in the plaza del comercio ( Trade square) and after 20 minutes we arrive at the neighborhood of Belem. Here we have a defensive tower built in 1516.
  It is the work of Francisco de Arruda and Diogo de Boitaca. When it stopped serving as a defense of invaders in the estuary of the Tajo River, it was used as a prison, as a lighthouse and also as a tax collection center to enter the city. It is also known as Torre de San Vicente, as it was erected in honor of San Vicente Mártir, patron saint of Lisbon. Its original name was Castelo de São Vicente

Belem Monument - Enjoying Lisbon in 2020
Belem Monument - Enjoying Lisbon in 2020

Cod & Pasteis de Belem

Portuguese cuisine has a predominant dish: cod. They are the main consumers of this fish worldwide. The habit began in 1350 after a fishing agreement of 50 years that allowed the fishermen of Lisbon and Porto to catch cod on the English coast. The great advantage of this fish is that once salted, it resisted up to three months before it was consumed. Today it is consumed salty, dry or fresh, and comes from Norway, Iceland and Russia.

There are more than 1000 ways to prepare cod, but the most common are three. The bacalhau á bras or golden cod (a scrambled egg with potatoes, eggs and olives), the cod to the Portuguese and the classic, caldeirada of fish (fish casserole with potatoes, tomatoes, onion, peppers, peas). The recipes can be seen here. Check here the best travel gadgets to travel to Lisbon by plane or any means of transport

Belem Tower - Enjoying Lisbon in 2020
Belem Tower - Enjoying Lisbon in 2020

Since they are very consumers of fish and shellfish, another traditional fish is the sardine. There are also 1000 other ways to prepare sardines, but the most traditional one is grilled sardines.

The sweets also have to be tried. The most famous sweet is the belem cake ( pasteis de Belem). It is made with baked egg yolks and sugar, filled with custard.

Enjoing Lisbon through its tiles

Walking through the historic districts of Lisbon, you can see almost anywhere, the decorations with tiles. The tile is a typical decoration of Portugal, which enhances the house where they are displayed. And also to its owner. Some are more than 200 years old.

Tiles of Portugal

You can also buy some of them in the souvenir shops. But you have to be careful, since some of these old tiles could be subtracted from their original place without the owner's permission. The best thing to buy tiles is to do it in recognized stores in order to avoid being an accomplice of a crime. The sale of antique tiles is prohibited.

There are many Old Coffee Shops in Lisbon like La Brasileira. But none compare to The Majestic of the City of Porto. You should visit it when you go to that city

Lisbon Tiles
Lisbon Tiles

You can visit the National Tile Museum, between the neighborhood of Alfama and Parque de las Naciones, which houses a charming collection from the 15th century to the present. This museum is the best and most complete of its kind. It contains more than 7000 pieces, of Arab style, Portuguese and other places in Europe.


The murals stand out, with period scenes, a 23-meter panel showing what Lisbon was like before the 1755 earthquake. The museum is located on Rua da Madre de Deus 4.

It is also worthwhile after the museum to move to one of the viewpoints of the city that are close to the Alfama neighborhood. 


Lisbon Useful information

How to get there: From USA to Lisbon.

New York - Lisbon

  •  Air France: 7 h  Direct 
  •  KLM: 7 h  Direct 
  •  Delta: 7 h  Direct 
  •  Tap Air Portugal: 6 h 55 m Direct 
  •  United: 6 h 50 m Direct 
  •  Lufthansa: 6 h 50 m Direct 
  •  Brussels Airlines: 6 h 50 m Direct 

How to move by Trams

The city has a network of metro, trams and buses. The best option is the metro and the one that has the best frequency is the metro. The tram network is ideal for making circuits around the city. If the ticket is taken on board it costs 2.90?; if you take out the 7 hills card, it costs $1.45 the trip.

Lisbon Tram Car - enjoying lisbon in 2020
Lisbon Tram Car #28 Line - enjoying lisbon in 2020


There are 5 routes: the tram 28, which is old, made of wood, leaves from the Castillo San Jorge and travels along 10 Miles the neighborhoods that must be seen: Graça, Mouraria, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, and Barrio Alto . The other tourist tanvia is the 15 that goes from the Plaza del Comercio to the neighborhood of Belem.
Consult  Lines & Schedules Official Site Here Carris.pt

Where to eat:

Eating out in Lisbon is cheap collated to the rest of Europe, or cities like Madrid or Paris  . Check in the hotel where you are staying, which restaurant recommends you, as there are thousands. Literally. Anyway, we recommend the cod fritters at Casa Portuguesa do Pastel in Bacalhau (Rua Augusta, 106) pasteis de bacalhau .Very important: bring cash. In most restaurants, they do not usually accept credit cards.

TimeOut Market Lisbon Portugal - enjoying lisbon in 2020
TimeOut Market Lisbon Portugal - Enjoying lisbon in 2020

Enjoying lisbon in 2020: We also recommend belem cakes in the neighborhood of Belem. pasteis de belem

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Falling in Love With Venice

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Venice is a city where it is impossible not to fall in love. The whole city is charming, its monuments, buildings, streets and canals filled with the Venetian soul. We’re going to tour venice in two.

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We know that there is very little time for this amazing city, but we will try it with the most charming and stylish places

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We arrived on the night train Thello to the station of Venice Santa Lucia from Paris. The station is located in front of the Grand Canal. We took a public transport boat that left us in front of the wooden bridge of the Academy (Ponte della Accademia). Just before arriving we went through the Rialto bridge, the most famous in Venice. Luckily the hotel was very close.

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Medieval Treadwheel Crane in Strasbourg’s Cathedral

Medieval Treadwheel Crane in Cathedral of Strasbourg

We visited the Cathedral of Strasbourg 

The Cathedral of Strasbourg was the first cathedral of Germany (or Kingdom of Germania). Until the arrival of Louis XIV in 1681 and his minister of the war, the Marquess of Louvois that camped in the environs of Strasbourg and forced their submission to the French monarchy the 30 of September of 1681.

Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths
Medieval Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths

The Cathedral was delivered by the same Luis XIV The head of the Catholic bishopric of Strasbourg, Egon de Furstenberg. Absent from the city for almost 150 years, that way ended the period as an independent city.

The Cathedral

Designed in Gothic style, it was built during the second half of the 13th century. Although originally planned as a Romanesque structure, in 1053 today there is only the crypt and the floor of that style. At the end of the main chapel, the decision was taken to construct the nave in the Gothic style (1250).

The walls were open with Gothic stained glass but the interior remained predominantly Romanesque. The main colonnades were Romanic style. And they also supported the arches. They were very separate. The proportions of the ship are 1: 2.5.

Cathedral of Strasbourg
Cathedral of Strasbourg

Medieval Treadwheel Crane - Cathedral Strasbourg 

It is accessed by the side of the Cathedral, to a door that leads to a spiral staircase stone, without breaks. At the end of it before accessing the terrace on the left side you can see the Medieval Treadwheel Crane.

Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths
Medieval Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths

The same one that was used in the construction of the Cathedral. And it's still there. It was customary to leave the cranes in their original location after completion of the work, for maintenance or repair.

Medieval Treadwheel Crane Carpenters

The Medieval treadwheel crane Cathedral of Strasbourg is made of wood, manufactured by the carpenters. Like carvers, carpenters were a relatively privileged category of craftsmen. Considered for a long time the absolute masters of construction, its prestige began to decline as early as the 11th century with the generalization of stone vaults, which concealed from view its wooden structures.

Related post: Religious Tourism in the Middle Ages

Since then, both guilds have fought, sometimes with violence, the primacy in the construction works. But they had to remain closely linked because they had no choice but to depend on one another.

The Carpenters Masters

The master carpenter directed all the works in wood, that were developed from the beginning to the end of the work. He was a very skilled technician, who could discuss with the architect the timber structures to be lifted, both permanent and temporary.

The rigging, ladders and scaffolding that would be used by masons, sculptors and glaziers to work at different heights, inside and outside the building were all made of wood.

AstronomicClock of Cathedral of Strasbourg
AstronomicClock of Medieval Cathedral of Strasbourg

They also built support machinery to lift stones and other materials. Wheel cranes, also called spinning "squirrels" and three-up raisers, are inside these machines.

The Navy Carpenters of The Crane

Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg
Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg

The treadwheel crane was a piece that required a great technical skill. Perfect assemblies and combinations of forces show their relationship with naval carpentry. In regions with a strong maritime tradition, carpentry teachers shared the construction of cathedrals with work in the shipyards building ships. Both civilian and military.

The main application was the port cranes. Imitations can now be observed in different parts of Europe.


As can be seen in the photos this treadwheel crane is for two operators. While the word operators today is used to operate a mechanical crane, here is another thing. Two people, one on each side walk in synchronized form to lift a weight, to the control of a master of crane.

Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths
Medieval Treadwheel Crane in the Cathedral of strasbourg Walking paths

We have no idea of ​​the capacity of this particular crane, but it can be said that approximately would be for about 1500 to 3000 lb, taking into account the external diameter of the wheel. This would be about  4.5 yards. For those who visit the cathedral of Strasbourg, before accessing the terrace, you can appreciate this legacy artifact of other times.

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We arrived at the Adolfo Suarez Airport ( Madrid)  in a fligth of IBERIA, and took the Metro of Madrid (you can also take the commuter train with combinations) and arrived at the Sol station. We arrived at the hotel (3 blocks away) and then we prepared to walk the city.


Madrid Walking maps
Madrid Walking maps


Three days madrid Plaza Mayor
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chocolateria san gines - Three days madrid

In Madrid There is a very old chocolate shop near there. A classic in Madrid. The Chocolateria San Gines.

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