Lisbon: Churches and Streetcars

Saying a sad farewell to World Traveler, the monkeys headed off to their hotel in central Lisbon and were happy to have an immediate check-in AND an upgrade. That is always a good thing. So the traveling simians settled in, caught up on world news, and took naps. Two weeks of non-stop fun and adventure can be exhausting.

Rooftops of Old Lisbon

From a vantage point high upon a hill we looked out over the rooftops of Old Town toward the Taugus River. Notice those two large cruise ships. They parked just behind Kongo’s former “yacht” and disgorged thousands of happy visitors who were all headed for the same place the monkey was. The narrow, cobblestone streets were jammed with tourists doing the same things Mr. and Mrs. Kongo were doing: looking at the sights and shopping for souvenirs.

The narrow streets are often completely filled with buses, trolley cars, and tuk-tuk motorcycles all moving people from one place to another. Kongo loved the streetcars.

Kongo visited the Lisbon Cathedral, formally known as Cathedral of Saint Mary Major, a Catholic Church that is now a national monument. It is the oldest church in the city having been built in 1142. That’s a really old church.

Cathedral of Saint Mary Major

Over the centuries the church was updated and renovated. Today it blends Romanesque and gothic architectural styles and has some beautiful stained glass windows. It has survived earthquakes and fires. It was built on the site of the main Muslim mosque that was here during the Arabic times and recent excavations have uncovered the remains of a Roman settlement.

The monkeys walked on as the sun set, passing snaking lines of tuk-tuk scooters and watching their step on the cobblestone streets and sidewalks.

Watching the World Go By

Eventually Mrs. Kongo found an inviting sidewalk cafe and the simians enjoyed a bottle of wine, and plates of prawns and pasta, topped off with crème brûlée.

Mrs. Kongo’s Restaurant Choice

Stuffed, sated, and more than a little bit mellow, the monkeys made it back to their hotel. Weather for tomorrow is supposed to be rain, rain, rain, high winds, and otherwise severe weather. It may be a good time for a “hotel day” and catch up.

Travel safe. Have fun.

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