Today was just about perfect. The weather was beautiful, an almost cloudless, brilliantly blue sky and the temperature was stuck at paradise all day long (aka: about 70 degrees).
I woke up earlier than I expected, but so well rested, and ready to relax/tackle the day. At noon I decided to exercise. I set out with nothing but my iPod — set to ridiculous mashups I played on repeat this whole journey — and my aviator sunglasses. I started out on my traditional running route, but I decided that today was not the day for running. Today was the perfect day for an epically long walk. So, after I returned from my run, instead of heading pack to the dorms, I went down the other path which leads to Marques de Pombal park and Avenida de Liberdade. While powerwalking(ish) I took in the beautiful view of Lisbon from the top of the park, checked out all of the designer stores and walked along the Rio Tejo. It was blue and sparkling from the sun, and right near me were thousands upon thousands of fish. No idea what they were doing, but in that 20 foot radius, you could have caught hundreds in mere minutes. And then I had to walk back. This whole thing was about 3.5 hours, and including the initial run, maybe 12 kilometers.
I had been planning during my first walk to ride the tram and get some ice cream. It didn’t happen exactly as I wanted. The ice cream shop I was planning to go to – the only one I knew of – had a line out the door and down the street. In no mood to wait, I backtracked and found my way to the stop for 28E – the touristy tram (electrico). The tram was jam-packed, but I had a great view. I had thought the tram made a full circuit and I was planning on riding it the whole way, but about 20 minutes into the journey we stop and everyone gets off: the tram will go no further.
The tram stopped right near Jardim da Estrela, a beautiful park/garden with lots of children, hippies, and other Portuguese people that I had never heard of before. I walked through and around the park, relaxing for a little and taking out my map so I could figure out how to find the metro. Leaving the park, I randomly ran into someone I know and we talked in Portuguese for a little while. He had ice cream and I was able to find the shop he went to, so I got my cone after all. I walked to the nearest metro station, Rato, which was also the one closest to the hotel in the first week. I had really liked that area and wanted to go back, and it just happened, out of the blue.
Rato is on the yellow line and the closest station to the dorms is on both the blue and red lines. It’s easy enough to change lines, but I knew how to walk to a blue station from Rato so I decided to do that so I could save time in transferring trains and walk around the area. On the way from Rato to Baixo-Chiado (the blue station I was aiming for) there are not one, but two beautiful lookouts and quasi-parks. The first one I had nearly forgotten about, but had been my favorite place those first few days. I got there just as the sun was about to set and I found out… you can see the 25 de Abril bridge from there and the Rei Christo. It was beautifu. I have pictures, but I don’t know if they do the scene justice. After, I crossed the street and went to the other, better known Miradoura (lookout) and took more pictures there.
I got to the Baixo-Chiado station and finally took pictures of the intense bank of escalators – you have to ride four to get to the top. All through this, I was walking around with a silly smile plastered to my face, practically skipping at points, thinking: this is the life. Days like this, moments like these, are why I love Lisbon.
And all of this, because nothing is opened on Sundays. There’s a few restaurants and museums, but even the megasuperstores (cough: El Corte Ingles) are closed for most of the day on Sundays. But with nothing to do – only window shopping and site seeing – and my homework complete, I just relaxed and enjoyed. I’m growing the love the whole closed-on-Sundays thing.
Also, I decorated my room today. It’s much homier now.