has now been in operation over 15 Years
certainly does rain in Lisbon,(Lisboa) Portugal in February
guide book said that Lisbon bears the brunt of the Atlantic
depressions, being located on the west coast of the country
by the Atlantic and the mouth of the River Tagus. The book
advises that rainfall is high in December and January and
becomes lighter in February.
city does need this rain as there is still some around in
March and there is not much till later in the year apart from
a few thunderstorms and showers.
arrived on Thursday morning. It was raining as we landed at
Portela Airport. We had expected this as checking weather
forecasts on the television and the Internet, this was predicted
for Thursday and Friday. By the time our taxi had dropped
us off at our very smart boutique hotel in the Rua das
Janelas (near the River Tagus (Right)
next to the Embassy of Luxembourg),it was drying up.
guide book advised buying a pre-paid taxi voucher from the
information desk at the airport as some taxis are notorious
Our taxi driver was very efficient and appeared to be the
only one in Lisbon to wear a seat belt! It appears that taxi
drivers, the police, ambulance and emergency service personnel
don't have to. This seems absolutely incredible as Lisbon
has one of Europe's highest traffic accident rates. According
to statistics in one month in 2000 there were 3,500 accidents
with 103 deaths. The emergency services taking you to
hospital are not protecting themselves. I saw two TV news
reports whilst there with bad traffic accidents. It must be
a very bad example to drivers that taxi drivers and police
do not wear belts. They save life, however in many countries
including Belgium the police don't "belt up". In Ireland the
taxi drivers used to drive without added protection, the rules
have been changed. You don't often find a driver not wearing
a belt - they would probably loose their taxi licence.
afternoon was spent exploring part of the city, taking a 25
minute walk rather than a quick ride on theCarris "No 60"
bus into the centre for the evening.
transport system is superb, we only used the trams, buses
and trains, not the metro, but the system is very efficient,
very cheap and you don't have to give the correct money -
they give change. There are modern double length trams, however
because of the narrow streets and steep hills the old small
trams are fantastic to look at and very comfortable inside
with plenty of polished wood and windows.
rain held off for the evening and our hotel was very welcoming
with a decanter of port by the bed that was regularly topped
up during the stay. They did not have a bar, but two self
service bars and you simply filled in a form when you had
a drink. There was plenty of complimentary tea, coffee and
cakes and biscuits whenever you wanted this.
was forecast to be wet, even if bright sunshine was shining
through the windows in the morning. That was soon gone and
it got darker. After a while it got brighter again the rain
moving away so we ventured out into the centre taking one
of these vintage" No 28" trams on an interesting ride
up and down narrow streets towards the Castel de São Jorge,
although trams do not go that far and we had a lot of climbing
to do. There is however a bus that takes you there if you
" No 28" tram
de São Jorge
are fabulous views from there and we were able to "see the
city" below in between the showers.
weather got worse during the afternoon and the hotel was a
most welcoming retreat. The rain continued on and off (mostly
on) for most of the evening and finding somewhere to eat proved
somewhat difficult. We did find a fish restaurant that was
ok, however as soon as you took a breather by putting your
knife and fork down, you nearly lost it!
Town Hall at Night
in Lisbon: In my opinion the selection of restaurants
in Lisbon is not good. For a city with a population of over
536,000 (and in greater Lisbon 1,836,000) the choice was poor.
Unlike Dublin, Brussels and other major cities restaurants
are difficult to find and there are not too many bars. I was
pleased we were not staying more than four nights as it was
difficult to find suitable places, particularly on a Sunday
night when numerous restaurants were shut. As we were searching
for a restaurant in our guide book (that was closed) we did
however find a very character bar in the Rua D.Perdro V.
establishment called the Pavilhão Chinês Bar (above)
is a former 19th century tea and coffee shop is a really quirky
bar with an incredible display of toy soldiers, trams, trains
and "nick knacks" with waiters smartly dressed there are several
rooms including one with a couple of snooker tables in them.
The bar serves non alcoholic and alcoholic drinks and light
snacks. Had it been nearer our hotel and not at the top of
a steep hill street, we would have been back again.
Saturday the weather was as exactly forecast earlier in the
week, the sun came out and the blue sky. This meant we could
take a bus ride out to Belém by the River Tagus.
The Padrao dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries)
(above left) is well worth visiting for the views after
taking the lift to the top. It was built in commemoration
of the heroes of Portugal's maritime history.
You also get great views of the Torre de Belém. (right)
After walking along the area that has a couple of marinas
(but lacks in seats for people to sit down and enjoy the views)
it was time for a leisurely drink and light lunch at a restaurant
that was built out of white rsj girders and glass.
was a pleasure to see the sun for the entire day and then
returning to the hotel and enjoy the views from the "library"
situated on the top floor with a spacious balcony overlooking
the port and the vesting P & O cruise ship.
was not quite as sunny, however it didn't rain. This meant
it was an ideal opportunity to take the 30 minute train journey
to the Atlantic coast. Once again great value €3.30 one way
for two people! There was a fun run ending at Cascais
when we arrived and it was great to walk around the marina,
on the beach and along the cost towards Estoril home
of the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Atlantic waves are certainly very powerful along this stretch
and if you are not to careful can easily be soaked. It was
great to see so many people enjoying the Sunday air.
was return home day, it was raining again. Well it certainly
does exactly was it states in the guide book - rains in February,
however the temperature was as predicted as well a pleasant
your visit to Lisbon - Lisboa, Portugal Spain
photos ©jml Property Services February 2007
jml Property Services February 2007
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AS Janelas Verdes: "Charming friendly Boutique Hotel" Feb
stayed at the hotel for four nights. The first two days was
wet and it was wonderful to return to this hotel, drink the
complimentary port in the bedroom and enjoy the views across
the River Tagus whilst it was raining or in brilliant sunshine.Alternatively
make a cup of coffee and enjoy one of those delightful cakes
in the guest kitchen. The hotel offers.a suberb buffet style
breakfast that fills you up for a fair part of the day, complete
with Bucks Fizz and scrambled eggs. Fortunately it is a 25
minute walk into the city centre that helps get rid of the
additional weight you have just put on. The Reception staff
were very helpful and it is a great pitty they do not have
a restaurant there in the hotel.
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