Alfama is one of Lisbon's oldest areas, filled with steep streets and magnificent history. The area is charming - restaurants and shops lining the beautiful cobblestone stone streets. Alfama is home to St. George's Castle (https://www.golisbon.com/sight-seeing/castle.html), dating back to the 11th Century, which was our main stop today. Views from the Miradouro de Graca terrace stretch over the entire city and are breathtaking.
Garin had planned for us to take a taxi, since St. George's Castle is located at one of the highest points in Lisbon and therefore a rigorous walk. However, we were out of luck. As is always the case, no taxi will take 5 people, so we were left to walk (or should I say hike) to the castle. Luckily it was fairly early in the morning so it was cool out and a nice hike.
Once we arrived, we found the sweeping views of Lisbon, from the castle terrace ,were breathtaking and well worth the hike.
There were some harrowing climbs in the castle with long falls below and alarmingly low retaining walls to provide a false illusion of safety. What do expect from the 11th century? For a person who has a mild fear of heights, with a wild child for a son (that would be Miles), there were some heart-stopping moments. There were signs posted everywhere, such as the one above. Thankfully, everyone came out unscathed.
There were lots of cute nooks and crannies to explore once you climbed the harrowing steps and navigated the narrow ledges.
The peacocks were an unexpected and lovely surprise, showing the most unexpected places around the castle.
We had a long hike back down to lunch in Central Alfama, but it was worth it once we arrived, as we were all famished from the strenuous walking.
After lunch we wandered into this wonderful sardine store, O Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha Portuguesa. The store (there are a number throughout Portugal) was filled with an array of eye-popping and colorful cans of sardines. I must say, I have never seen anything quite like it. https://www.mundofantasticodasardinha.pt/en/mundo-fantastico-da-sardinha-portuguesa
After lunch and the sardine store, we hiked back up the hill to the Museum of Portuguese Decorative Arts., as one the activities chosen by Garin for the afternoon. The 18th-century Azurara Palace is home to the Ricardo Espírito Santo Foundation, whose art collection shows how aristocrats lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. .https://www.lisbonportugaltourism.com/guide/decorative-arts-museum.html
Our final stop was the Fado Museum, a tribute to Lisbon’s famed musical genre. It not only showcases the music but also the cultural and political environment in Portugal, especially in the capital, throughout much of the 20th century. With a self-guided audio tour, there was lots of beautiful Fado music to listen to along the way. https://www.lisbonportugaltourism.com/guide/fado-museum.html
After returning to our apartment in the late afternoon for a little down time, we headed to a local restaurant, just a two minute walk away, for dinner. Miles had a hearty sausage platter, while the rest of us dined on a variety of traditional seafood dishes.