Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
Trip End Oct 31, 2013

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Flag of Portugal  , Estremadura,
Friday, March 2, 2012

Last day in Lisbon and one more chance to wander the city of hills, steps and narrow lanes. We ventured into the old area of Alfama where the Romans once strode the cobbles in these mazes of allies and lanes.
Washing hanging out on precarious lines, people chatting from open windows and life going on in crowded lanes.

We reached the highest lookout to see the city below, spilling over steep slopes with the terracotta roofs glowing in the midday sun. Small parks where people walked their dogs- poor pets with so little space to stretch.

We remembered "Bon Dia" to greet folk as we passed so close to their living rooms and realised that in Australia we have so much living space without really appreciating it.


Trams scramble up some of these narrow streets but mostly people walk and climb the street steps, and we wonder if all this walking and stepping keeps everyone slim.


We had a conversation with a young man who told us of the frustration of people's lives under the EU and how the poor got poorer and no one trusted the government and didn't vote because all politicians were the same- corrupt and greedy. In his opinion 55% of the population feel as he does and don't bother voting because they feel that they can't change anything. What hope? Not much he said -just live for today and don't think about tomorrow.

The famous 'fado' reflects this melancholy and the haunting female voices singing the sad words can be heard in the bars.
We visited some huge and majestic churches along the way and then bought some crunchy bread, cheese and salad to have for lunch and back to our apartment to gather our thoughts.

The days have been cool but sunny and nice for our touring the city on foot. The city seems to be a contrast of old and new, conservative and modern. Rua Augusta where we are staying is lined with trendy expensive fashion stores but our host tells us that most people have to work long hours to live well here. We have only been here 4 days but the people seem more serious than in Madrid!

Maybe we are catching the 'serious' bug and bought pork steaks to cook and salad to accompany our evening meal because eating out is expensive for long term travellers; so we had a good bottle of Portuguese red, pork and salad for 5 euros which equates to $7. The kitchen in our apartment is well supplied with olive oil, garlic and other condimentsd so we ate well without leaving home.

We decided that since most of our accommodation has kitchen facilities we should eat in more than out!!  We have been happy with our accommodation in Lisbon- so central yet so quiet - spacious bedroom and good bed- happy co-inhabititants and for 30 euros, $38 per night we have judged it A1.

We will leave tomorrow back to Spain by bus to Seville where we will pick up a hire car to explore the south coast.
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