For our second weekend in Greece we took a two-and-a-half-hour bus ride northwest to the town of Delphi for an overnight visit. Our main purpose was to visit Ancient Delphi, home of the famous Oracle of Delphi, but modern Delphi is also a nice small town that is worth exploring, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.Read the full post »
We’ve arrived in Amsterdam, where we’ll be staying for about a week as we explore the city and some surrounding towns.
Our hotel is in the Amsterdam Zuid (South) area, a little ways out of the city core, and it feels much more sane than the overcrowded areas near Dam Square. The immediate surroundings are a mix of upscale residential and modern office parks.Read the full post »
Throughout our visit to Lisbon we’ve enjoyed many panoramic views of the Rio Tejo, which inevitably include the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge that connects Lisbon to the opposite shore of the river and its towering statue of Christ, the Cristo Rei.
This opposite shore is in fact another city: Almada. And the closest part of Alamada to Lisbon is Cacilhas, a former fishing and shipbuilding district.
North of the Rossio train station along the beautiful tree-lined Avenida da Liberdade there’s a small funicular that connects to the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara on the hill above.
There are a number of such funiculars around Lisbon, but many are currently closed or under repair. This one was originally built in 1885 and electrified in 1914.
We left the historic Alfama and Baixa areas and took the ludicrously crowded Tram 15E along the riverfront out to the Alcântara neighbourhood. There, at the foot of the Ponte (Bridge) 25 de Abril, we visited two of the more recent additions to the Lisbon map.
The LX Factory reminded us a lot of Toronto’s Distillery District. In 2008 an abandoned 1840’s textile factory was converted into artist studios, cafés, shops and market stalls.
One last blast of freezing rain and flurries blew through Toronto just before our plane was scheduled to take off. We felt lucky to be delayed by only one hour, which we spent watching the robotic arms of the de-icing machines spray down our plane with a fluorescent green liquid.
After a stop in Montreal and six more neck-wrenching hours trying to doze on the plane, we arrived in Lisbon around 7 in the morning. Even from high above, the famous “light of Lisbon” was already evident, glowing on the orange rooftops of the buildings we flew over.
London is such a vast city that even a full week spent exploring as tourists meant we barely scraped the surface of a few neighbourhoods.
In between all the other major landmarks, museums, pubs and restaurants we visited and blogged about, we also came across other things that caught our interest. Here’s a random compilation.