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Lisbon, Portugal (5/13/2018)

Since we started cruising I've wanted to visit Lisbon. Although I'm not sure why...It could be that it is not a typical cruise stop. All I really remember about Portugal is that Worcester, Mass is home to many Portuguese immigrants and I heard something about Our Lady of Fatima, a Catholic shrine found in a church about 75 miles north of Lisbon. Now that I think about it, the Portuguese were great explorers for such a small county, Brazil is a prime example of that. On this cruise Lisbon is located between between two other ports I haven't visited: Gibraltar and Vigo, Spain. So, it will be fun checking out these lesser known ports.

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with a population of 552,700, covering an area of 39 sq. miles. Metropolitan Lisbon has a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. It is continental Europe's westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost areas of its metro area is the westernmost point of Continental Europe.

Portugal, and especially Lisbon, prospered greatly during the Age of Discovery. The 16th century was Lisbon's golden era: the city was the European hub of commerce between Africa, India, the Far East and later, Brazil, and acquired great riches by exploiting the trade in spices, slaves, sugar, textiles and other goods. Making it one of the richest and largest cities in the world, with fine buildings to show their prosperity. Then the 1755 earthquake hit, follow by a tsunami that destroyed much of the city and killed over 30,000 people. The city was rebuilt largely according to plans based on modern urban design of the day with the city laid out on a grid with two great squares. This rebuild makes the city feel open and inviting.

Lisbon pic

Lisbon has two or three cruise ports, depending on what site you read. They are spread out over a two mile stretch of the harbor. Consequestly I don't know where we will dock. It will likely be the newer port with three berths, Santa Apolonia (or Alfama) that is slightly upriver from the city center and conveniently sits next to Alfama, a historic neighborhood popular with visitors.

EXPLORE THE PORT:

Here is a list of sites that could help you plan your day in port. Be sure to explore the links on each page for a wealth of information.

Lisbon Cruise Port Page - Cruise Critic port page for Lisbon.

Lisbon Attraction & Activities - Tripadvisor's Things to do in Lisbon, with a ranked lists of attractions & activities.

WhatsInPort - Great info about the port including a webcam (some ports), printable map and ships in port: no 2018 info available.

Frommer's Lisbon - a well respected travel guide, has their take on Lisbon, with lots of links to explore like a walking tour.

Lonely Planet's Lisbon - Lonely Planet's coverage of Lisbon.

Tours by Local Lisbon - Discover fascinating Lisbon with a friendly local guide. Experience Lisbon through the eyes of a local private guide! Browse our tour 'suggestions' - each can be customized just for you.

Viator's Lisbon Tour Offerings - Viator is a consolidator, meaning that they source tour companies and resell them. What is nice is that you can pay in USD with your credit card before you leave home. I've used them in a few places and was very pleased. If you can find the company they are using to book directly, you can save a bit.

Lisbon Port Guide - Tom Sheridan has created a series of Port Guides for ports around the world. They are in PDF format; thus, can be loaded on your tablet, or printed, to have handy. Tom's website is tomsportguides.com, where he gives travel tips and explains how to best use his guides.

Visit Lisbon - The official website for Lisbon Tourism.

Rick Steves' Lisbon & Algarve - A 25-min, hi-def video by one of the best tour guides and writers around. This is an excellent way to learn about Lisbon!

More to come...

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