Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Take the Lisbon 28 Tram

View of Alfama from the Miradouro of Santa Luz...Image via Wikipedia
You reach central Lisbon at the smart Chiado district, glimpses of the steely Tagus flashing into view between the terracotta roof tiles and church spires. Suddenly you pitch steeply downhill, the tram hissing and straining against the gradients of Rua Vitor Cordon, before veering into the historic downtown Baixa district. Shoppers pile in and it's standing room only for newcomers, but those already seated can admire the row of traditional shops selling sequins and beads along Rua da Conceicao through the open windows.
Now you climb past Lisbon's ancient cathedral and skirt the hilltop castle, the vistas across the Tagus estuary below truly dazzling. The best bit of the ride is yet to come though, a weaving, grinding climb through the Alfama district, Lisbon's village-within-a-city where most roads are too narrow for cars. Entering Rua das Escolas Gerais, the street is just over tram width, its shopfronts so close that you can almost lean out and take a tin of sardines off the shelves

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