It is not allowed to take photos in a mall, did you know? I didn't. They almost have no problem in taking photos near military installations, but it will create a big problem in a mall. I post this because especially Vasco de Gama shopping mall is being presented as one of the sights worth visiting so you might, as I have, be an outlaw without knowing. Ok I guess this is not a law but an inside rule, but still... Note that, by googling, you find photos of the inside. Oh well.
I have this thing with photos: my memory sucks, and usually during my trips there is so little time that is not enough to take in a lot of things - so I just take photos. Of everything. If it's not in a photo I haven't lived it.
So here is the story:
It's afternoon, I already walk all day, I have just finished the visit in the Oceanario (super) and I am sooo hungry. I visit the Vasco de Gama center, I take some photos of the outside, how nice, I'll remember I've been here then.
I get in the center, reminds me of the malls at home, shiny, beautiful, a lot of known brands around, I resist to the urge to start buying things and try to find somewhere to eat something. I find the escalator, I go upstairs. How nice, here is a restaurant with a moto something like "the slow fast food", let's take something here. Cod? Cod! It's the Portuguese specialty after all.
I take my tray, I go sit down, I love what I see in my plate, partly cause I'm starving and it smells great. Wait a minute! I take the camera, I take the pic, flash goes off, I catch my fork and knife.
"Good evening miss." I raise my head, a handsome and very polite man is talking to me, how nice ahahahha. "You are not allowed to take photos in the mall". Security. Gulp. He doesn't look so handsome now ehm. "Sir, I'm just a tourist (I know I certainly look like one with the guides on the table and all), I took a photo, what's the big deal?", "Well, you know, it's about terrorists and stuff, we don't want anyone to know how the place is built and... well... this is how it works". I showed him the photo "would you like me to erase it?" He hesitated. Ahahhaa look at the photo, I have uploaded it here for you to check. Finally, murmuring something like "they will get mad if they find out but, I guess you can keep it, just know, it is not allowed", he let me go. How nice, I'll remember the cod and story now :D
Look at the pictures:
It's centrally located.
It's an outstanding building.
It's not cheap... it's free.
Guests use to stay for long periods.
But... that's the last "hotel" I would recommend in Lisbon.
Why? - Because it is local jail
There's a negative attitude toward the civil servants who go around in pairs serving and protecting this city. Be polite when asking for help and you'll have a better experience with the authorities. There's not a lot of crime in Lisbon by big-city standards, and few prisons. There are two kinds of cops. One has a round hat, carries a small stick, and doesn't do much but window-shop and break up groups of shady-looking kids dancing in the streets. The other wears a baseball hat, carries a bigger stick, and deals with more menacing criminals. In other words, don't mess with the cops in baseball hats carrying big sticks; they're waiting to use those things, and in this case, size does matter.
Remember that speeding in Portugal will get you a very big fine and could get you time in jail.
The police can and will ask you to pay on the spot and will take you to the ATM if you do not have the money with you.
The authorities seemed to be very meticulous when it came to parking violations. I didn`t see a large police presence in Lisbon but whenever I actually did see an officer, he or she was writing a parking ticket!
An unfortunate (or naive) couple in in Rossio got out of his car thirty seconds before this gentleman started writing a ticket.
So don`t park illegally if you are visiting by car. It seems you`ll get caught.
Alcool. It's cheap but could be a problem. The Portuguese Penal Code says that if you drive with a alcool level over 0.5 gr/Lt ( the lowest limit in Europe) you are over the limit of the law. And in Portugal it's a crime. It's more serious than just to pay a fee. You get jail for that ! 2 beers are sometimes more than enough to get over the limit. So if you drink, don't drive.