Day 3. Sightseeing Belem! Very, Very Hot!

When the alarm went off at 5.45am with a purpose, we had to drag our tired bodies out of the hostel – that is, once the hostel unlocked the doors for us – and proceed quickly to the bus stop. Our plan was to get some sunrise photos from the 360° Panoramic view at Amoreiras. We missed a bus due to the unknown bus stops in the vicinity but managed to catch the next one.

However our plan never worked smoothly. We had no idea what building it was and silly Graeme never decided to check when it opened. 10am! It was already sunny by the time we got there, so we woke up early for nought.

After breakfast, we got on the tram to Belem. We were expecting a tram like Tram 28, old-fashioned, graffiti’d electric locomotives, albeit this, we ended up on Tram 15E – a modernised tram…

Belem had a lot to offer. Stunning cathedrals, sweet gardens, picturesque monuments and many museums. I even gave panoramic photography a go – which Graeme got very into by the end of the day.

1st monument we checked out was the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, which was mind-blowing from an architectural viewpoint. It was based on the Portuguese explorers that travelled the far seas to India & Brazil. The monument made for some impressive photos.

Leisurely, we went to most likely the most famous Lisbon attraction – Torre de Belem. This fortress is basically Lisbon’s Eiffel Tower or Colosseum. It was just as incredible. Definitely one of the best hotspots in Europe. To my surprise, you could actually go in it, but the queue was seriously lengthy.

Our 1st museum of the day was probably the weirdest. It was a museum based on the military, however it’s intended desire never conveyed through. Instead, there was barely any English text, the mannequins had the longest of eyelashes and the trenches had some terrifyingly, heart-wrenching dummies which looked real from certain directions. I’m sure the eyes were darting at our every move. The music didn’t help matters.

I’m certain Portugal could make a museum out of anything because next up we glanced at exhibitions on ships. There was a lot of them!!

Our next moment was quite the daft one to say the least. The line to enter the cathedral was split into two. 1. For both tickets and 2. Just for the monastery. The heat was just rising and rising until it couldn’t no more. 30°C was hitting us in the dry queue and it was unbearable as it trickled on my skin. We never put on sun cream, due to the temperature yesterday but it changed. This left my skin exposed to the UV rays. I’ll wake up crisp tomorrow, no doubt.

This queue might have just been forced sunburn as we discovered further on after an extended time in the nude heat, that our Lisbon cards allowed us to fast track in for free!!

For lunch, we went to Pao, Pao, Quiejo, Quiejo. Which was a sandwich place. We both went for hot dogs and they were quite cheap and cheerful. A recipe for a brilliant day!

The next museum was based on coaches. I wanted to go in this because my Dad is a bus driver and thought he’d like me to see it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t coach coaches. It was horse and carriage…

The walk to the Not San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge made me sweat extremely. If I was a car. I’d be leaking oil. I don’t think I’ve felt heat without shade like that before! Sodas were our number 1 refreshment for a while. But even their energy only lasted, minimally. Standing under this heavy bridge was an exceptional experience and I’m pleased we walked the distance to see the red pillars holding up the carriageway to allow access all over Lisbon. It may have not been the Golden Gate Bridge, but I’m sure it gave me the same dreamy feeling I would have had if I was in California.

Right after seeing this astounding mechanism, the tram stopped right by us. Luckily, we managed to jump on and make it back to the hostel without more skin being burnt.

The evening was a ‘try again’ opportunity. We never went all that way to the 360° Panoramic view for nothing. This time we knew it closed at 10pm and were sure we’d get in.

The elevator steadily brought us up to the rooftop terrace, where comfortable sofas and unreal views awaited! We were there for at least an hour before the sun went down. The scenery automatically changed when all the lights left an amazing glow on the capital. It was a breathtaking sight.

Once we got the bus back, we spotted another one of the historic tram rides. Tram 22. This one treads up the steep Lisbon paving and gives quick access to the top. It was a peaceful – yet cramped – journey.

For dinner, we headed into one of the local diners that filled the tiny alleyways with life. Graeme decided to try codfish, however I don’t like seafood so I went for breaded chicken steaks and French fries. It was good for all I ate. I wasn’t expecting 3 chicken steaks to be quite frank.

Shockingly, we noticed that we haven’t had ice cream at all today! How can I go a day on holiday without ice cream?!

Due to this, we scavenged the area in search for an ice cream parlour. We eventually came to the conclusion that Armorinos was feeding us our dessert. It wasn’t the cheapest of ice creams but it was delicious! I went for Mango & Strawberry flavour which just filled my mouth with delight! The strawberry was crested, towering over the mango. That didn’t last long as I destroyed the cone and everything inside.

I can’t believe that’s another day in books! Lisbon has grown on me vastly since the 1st days mishaps and this holiday has been a bunch of fun. I’m incredibly excited for what my last full day has in store as we head outside the main city and sightsee Sintra and its  colourful castle. Hope to see you all there 💖


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