Arriving in Lisbon and its harbour was an experience in itself. The city appears on most maps to be on the Atlantic coast but in reality is several miles inland on the Tega River and under one of the world’s largest suspension bridges very similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Entering from the sea, the ship’s excursion director hosted a special commentary as we slowly “sailed” up river to our berth in the heart of the city. As the sun rose and we sipped our coffee and enjoyed Lisbon breakfast rolls we learned the history of this great city with many of the city’s historic sites to be seen on the river’s edge.
Lisbon is home to the Christ the King monument and statue that is similar in design and size to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil. It is an impressive sight on the bank opposite Lisbon beside the bridge.
The gateway to the city is the large arch in front of the city square. Like many of the ports we have visited the street under the arch is for pedestrians only. With five cruise ships in port it was very busy downtown. The crowds only seemed to heighten the excitement of the city and its vibrant nature. Our land excursion took us out along the river to the coastal town of Estoril which is almost exclusively tourist in nature and home to the very wealthy of Lisbon. Once again the beach was spectacular with its surf, sand and many small pubs and restaurants right on the seaside promenade. Cable cars, street cars, elevators to take you up street levels and beautiful tiled structures were seen everywhere.