… continuation from Day 3
This was the last and final day in Lison after staying for a week (check out my previous posts Day 1, 2 and 3 as well as the Sintra Day trip). We wanted to pack it with as many sights and experiences as possible before boarding our flight at the end of the afternoon.
But of course, coffee was in order to jump start the day! Over looking the Lisbon rooftops is a great way to begin and get in the mood.
Historic Tram 28 ride
After seeing the trams all over the city and taking a tram to and from Belem, we decided to ride the most famous and historic tram ride of all : tram # 28. This tram line takes you through the old city so you get to see quite a lot for a very cheep rate!
We had the tram mostly to ourselves so we could just do all the touristy things with no shame ! It was selfie, vlogging and picture time for sure!
We traveled through some of Lisbon’s finest neighborhoods and some that we had already explored : Baixa, Graça, Alfama and Estrela. The winding narrow roads the tram followed were quintessential to the Lisboa experience. Only the classic remodelado trams from the 1930s are able to navigate the steep inclines and sharp twists of the tracks. I actually found myself holding my breath as it seemed to be a very tight squeeze at times!
We ended up at the end of the tram ride at a large plaza filled with lawns and fountains. There was a small mall that we ventured into but it was filled with many counterfeited luxury bags. If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while now, you know I’m a handbag lover and have reviewed a few bags already (Tory Burch York Tote, Kate Spade Cobble hill). So I’m not a big fan of knock offs.
I don’t mind one designer inspiring another : for example Rebecca Minkoff and her Love Bag is clearly inspired by the Chanel Le Boy Bag, but that’s ok not every one can spend upwards of 4000$ on a bag! However trying to completely replicate and misrepresent the brand is a whole other story!
Some of our friends had to head home, so we all headed back to the rental said our good byes and let them catch their planes. We also turned in our keys and checked out of our Airbnb rental. The rest of us headed out to the modern neighborhood of Parque das Naçoes or Nation’s park. We left our luggage in lockers at the subway station.
After that unsuccessful shopping trip, we headed out the Nation’s park which is on the outskirts of Lisbon and also the most renovated and modern neighborhood. It was heavily renovated and built for the 1998 World Exposition. It now boast a large marina, a Vasco de Gama mall with its iconic sail boat shaped tower, the Oceanarium and a pavilion concert hall.
We took the metro to get there, and the walls gave us a glimpse of what to expect in the Oceaunarium with fish galore on the walls.
Vasco de Gama Mall
Upon exit we had to go through the Vasco de Gama shopping mall to get the the aquarium. The mall was a quite impressive glass and metallic structure giving a futuristic vibe as of yet unseen in Lisbon.
It was hard, but I resisted ! no shopping for makeup :). We decided to visit the Oceanarium first and with the rest of the time left we would explore the park and then head out to the airport.
This aquarium is built on a pier on an artificial lagoon. It looks like its floating on water. It is said to resemble an aircraft carrier. Do you see it? I don’t think it’s striking. There was the mascott out to great the visitors, so we had to take a couple pics.
However, it was getting well past lunch time and the Oceanarium conveniently had a restaurant/cafeteria. We made a stop at the Oceanarium there for lunch. The food wasn’t the best but it was cheap and ok.
We visited the Lisboa aquarium which holds the largest circular tank and in door aquarium in Europe. The ticket costs 13€ (which is a good price, in comparison the Paris Aquarium is 20€). The main exhibit is a 1,000 m2 (11,000 sq ft), 5,000 m3 (180,000 cu ft) tank with four large 49 m2 (530 sq ft) acrylic windows on its sides.
The dolphins were not good models, let me tell you ! They were swimming so fast I couldn’t really capture them in the low light setting with my iPhone 6.
I love museums and the aquarium is a museum of the sea which doesn’t make me feel as bad as when I’m visiting a zoo. For some reason I feel the fish don’t mind as much as mammals being in a closed space. What do you think about it?
Because of my blog name, of course my favorite was the tiger shark !
After the visit, we were more than ready to head out and enjoy the fresh air and the outdoors park.
Cable Car ride
Nations park is filled with many interesting features. You have a nice long promenade along the marina, and statues and artwork to admire. There are many flags from the world exhibition that are still there. They are in a design that can only be appreciated if you to take the cable car and enjoy an arial view. The same can be said with the vegetation and the colored designs on the cobble stone that is so typical of Lisbon.
Water is also a big part in this park with many volcano shaped fountains spread out around the park, as well as a waterfall.
We took the cable car and had an amazing view of the bay and the National park.
I especially loved the Vasco de Gama tower. It was a beautiful and fluid piece of architecture.
We could see the bridge Ponte de Vasco de Gamma spanning accross the river Rio Tajo. It’s 7.6 miles or 12.3 km and is cable stayed.
When we finished exploring the sights spotted from the cable car panoramic view. It was definitely time for a snack! With the heat what better than a sundae lisboa style?
We took the subway to the airport, as it’s not far from the Nation’s park.
Once we went thru security, I indulged in some last minute duty free shopping for friends and family :
After such a fun filled trip, I definitely didn’t want to head back home but I had a host of memories to make up for it. I also really want to go back to Portugal and discover even more wonderful things.
That’s the beauty of travel, it’s addictive and you only want more. Now that’s an addiction you can be proud of in my book :).
Have you been to Portugal ? What did you visit?
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