I left my heart in Lisboa

I am sure you’ve heard the song “I left my heart in Lisboa” before. It is Tony Bennett’s signature song. I bet you could even sing some of the lines without the help of a songbook. C’mon let’s sing a verse or two together …

“I left my heart in Lisboa
High on a hill, it calls to me. 
To be where little cable cars 
Climb halfway to the stars! 
The morning fog may chill the air 
I don’t care! 

My love waits there in Lisboa 
Above the blue and windy sea 
When I come home to you, Lisboa, 
Your golden sun will shine for me!”

Your melodic voices are impressive,  and you never missed a line! Wow! I’m blown away. I bet you also know this song is accurate in its description of Lisboa too. It mentions a hill, cable cars, fog, and sun. Like San Francisco, Lisboa is known for its steep rolling hills, eclectic architecture, and famous landmarks. Yet there are subtle differences. While San Francisco is known for its sour dough and hippies, Lisboa is known for its tarts and hippies. While San Francisco is wine country, Lisboa is castle country. C’mon let the pictures lead the way. After viewing them, I am sure you will lose your heart in Lisboa too.

One of Lisboa’s most famous neighborhoods is Belem. This neighborhood is home to many great sites.

The Jerónimos Monastery is known for two things: it's unique Manueline-style architecture and Vasco da Gama's tomb. (He was the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India.)

You definitely want to pop in for a visit. The cloister is a photographer's paradise. The unique late Gothic architecture, along with the gargoyles and the white stone against the blue sky, is stunning.

The Discoveries Monument, built along side the Tagus River, honors Portugal's famous explorers and its great Age of Discovery.

The monument features both patrons and explorers associated with Portugal's Age of Discovery. Shown here are Henry the Navigator and King Alfonso V, patrons of Portuguese exploration. Vasco da Gama comes right after the king ... if you look closely at the picture of the complete monument (above) you should be able to spot him.

Now some of you are wondering where the castles are …

This Moorish castle is perched on top of the steepest hill in Lisbon, and presides over the city like a fortified guardian. It is one of the city's most popular tourist sites. After the gorgeous city views, the best part of visiting the castle involves climbing its walls!

From St. George's most popular viewpoint you can see for miles. Lisboa is very picturesque and, as you can see, many photographers stand here in order to capture the city's gorgeous landmarks.

Chiado is another popular neighborhood, which is found in the upper city. For fun take the Eiffelesque Santa Justa Elevator up to the Carmo Museum, later dine at the Cervejaria da Trindade, a former monastery that has been turn into a beer hall and seafood restaurant. Yum.

In 1755 the church was almost completely destroyed by a earthquake. Today it is a museum but a good portion of the church's structure is still intact. It's roof is long gone but for some strange reason it makes this site even more beautiful!

After visiting the Chiado neighborhood, visit the Oriente. It is home to Lisbon’s World Exposition site. (If you look closely you should be able to find a Canadian flag!)

1998 Lisbon World Exposition

In 1998 Lisbon hosted a World Expo. The end result of this expo is a new and modern neighborhood! There is a shopping mall (you can see it's unique roof in the background), an aquarium, quirky art, a gorgeous views of Lisbon's suspension bridge and river walk.

Lisboa’s great location allows for great day trips … hop a train and visit castle country by stopping at Sintra first.

This Moorish Castle is huge, and it took us most of the morning to climb all the walls! You have to be in good shape because like most of Portugal the hills are steep. Also if you are afraid of heights this isn't for you.

Can you see how far this castle goes? We made it from one end to another! There are great views so the climb was worth it. You can even see the Palácio Nacional da Pena from here. It's our next stop too.

What makes the Pena National Palace unique you ask? Why its bold colouring of course!

Look way up!

Of course like the other cities we have visited I have to end the post with some street art … can you see how this is different from the other street art we have posted?

We came across this on our way to our favorite museum (The Gulbenkian)!

Both Tony and I left our hearts in Lisboa, did you?