If you are like me,and addicted to maps,you might feel like I did.The maps in Lisbon are poor!They have lots of streetnames missing,and I didn´t find any with street index.We allways walk everywhere,and maps are important then.
So I was happy,that I had bought this map+guide-book from Finland.I have seen them in English,so I suggest to all "map-lovers" to buy this when going to Lison.It was very good there!Only some streets missing,and it also has lots of tips on it!Good value of money,if you ask me.This same one wasn´t so important at London or Rome etc,where there was better (and smaller) maps for free.Only negative thing with this is the size.It wont go to small pocket.
Baixa runs from magnificent Rossio down to the huge Praca do Comercio. Possibly the true heart of Lisbon, Baixa was re-built after the 1755 earthquake in a grid systems of streets all dedicated to particular trades.
These days most of these businesses have been replaced by tourist focused cafes, chain stores and leather shops, but you still come across the occasional gem, making a wander around Baixa's streets a must. Pedestrianised Rua Augusta is the main tourist drag, and a great place for a stroll and a shop. It is lined with a selection of shopping options, with a particular slant towards leather goods shops, selling lots of handbags and shoes....paradise! There are also plenty of cafes to keep everyone satisfied.
Take a wander off Rua Augusta and you may stumble across a surprise or two....live the Elevador de Santa Justa or a diet-breaking pastelaria.
Nearest metro: Baixo Chiado or Rossio
It's rumoured that the Lisbon-shattering earthquake of 1755
inspired the citizens to have their promenades and squares
plastered over using the marble rubble of some of the great
architectural odes to the Age of Discovery as foundations for
hundreds of kilometres of street mosaics. Under the direction of
the King Jose I's chief minister the Marques de Pombal more than
400 calceteiros set to work on the distinctive pavements -
mosaics of hills and valleys, signs of the zodiac, gardens,
animals, geometric designs and sea creatures. The pavements are
so smooth in places they appear varnished, and shine as though
polished with wax. The stones are as deep as they are wide -
marble blocks of black and white, lined up, cut at corners,
organic, changing direction, inherently designed not only by the
pattern in which they are laid, but by their impressions made by
250 years of walking, the grain of the marble, the gaps, the
tight spots, the hand-cut and chiseled edges to each stone. Like
walking on an endless quilt of tiny patches, the mosaic patterns
change with every block. Some designs are clean, simple organic
geometrics in stars and checkerboards. At the Praca de
Commercio, looking out onto the Tagus, there's a parade of
dragon-fishes. Today the calceteiros have dwindled to less than
30 and find their craft superceded, on cost grounds, by asphalt,
and have to work for very little and most often on simple repair
jobs. If there is a design to be refurbished or set out again,
the calceteiros get out the original, carefully archived wooden
patterns and lay them on the smooth ground, filling in the
template with small, square black and white stones, napped so
meticulously the fit is almost seamless.
There are couple...
There are couple of good view points (Miradouros) in Lisbon.
One of them is Miradouro Santa Lucia, from which the roofs of Alfama and the white top of the impressive Mosteiro de San Vicente can be seen...
Drumming Up Business
Our first night in Portugal, after a long and tiring overnight flight from Fredericton by way of Montreal, New York and Paris, found us wandering in the Baixa area, very close to the Praca dos Restauradores (Square of the Restoration) area. Due to various time-zone differentials, we were starting to feel quite hungry even though it was only about 7 PM. Just one street over from the main Restauradores area, is a nice little street (Rua das Portas de Santo Antao) filled with restaurants with sidewalk seating.
Each of them have 'callers' out on the street trying to convince passers-by that they should sit down and enjoy a good meal! Well, we did not need much convincing, especially once we saw their very pleasant outdoor seating area on a warm evening in mid-May! Once we were seated at our table, we noticed that our 'caller' seemed to be a real character. He was funny with everyone, including his competition at the adjoining restaurants! Why not, he's got to live with these people every day! It was a fun experience to sit there in the warm breezes enjoying our first experience of a restaurant meal in Portugal (see my Restaurant tips for the full details)!