Lisbon by Train, Boat, Tram and Scooter – Part 2

(Long queues to get on Ascenoir da Glória)

You might be already aware of a transport theme on our tour and as soon as we had descended the Ascenoir da Gloria we went in search of our next vehicle. I was hopeful we would be ascending this time but it was not to be. (Top Guide Tip: Saturday’s are busy, you may encounter long queues, consider moving your tour to a weekday.) Our next stop was the Elevador de Santa Justa. This is a lift and was built in 1899 to take the citizens of Lisbon up the steep hill. It’s still doing that nearly 120 years later.

(Elevador de Santa Justa from the back)

The queue snaked around the lift and up the path. It would be along wait as the lift could only take 29 passengers. My “client” said he was ready for lunch so we moved on.

(Queue to go on the Elevador de Santa Justa)

You remember yesterday the Time Out Market was closed when we got there? It would be open now. Again just an 18 minute walk and now we knew it was downhill. There’s a lot to be said for getting things wrong.

(Tables and chairs in the middle…)

While we were away the place filled up and there was hardly a chair free at the many tables. First things first we had to pick a meal. This involves walking by the many restaurant sections along the walls and checking out their menus. Then you make your decision, queue up, place your order, pay and get a beeper thingy. Then you search for a seat.

(…restaurants along the walls)

It was actually easy enough to find a place as people were coming and going all the time. We found a spot on the edge and settled in. Everything is cooked fresh so it was about twenty minutes before the beeper called us back to collect our food. The food is more expensive than we have paid in Portugal up to this.

(Time Out Market is attached to the old food market called Mercado da Ribeira)

Very soon people were joining our table and we had a lovely  chat with a couple who were originally from Taiwan but now living in California. He’d been to Ireland once for a day. It was a work thing and he’d flown in to Shannon, he couldn’t remember the name of the company but he remembers the cows in the fields. I loved that. It’s exactly what I’d want people to remember from a quick trip to Ireland. His wife was a programmer and Denis and she were conversing in letter groups and pretty words like  C++ and Java, as you do.

(A gun shop)

The whole guide and client thing broke down a bit after that. (Top Tip: Set your price early so there are no surprises or ill feeling between guide and client.) Denis had spotted something as we were coming through the ferry port in the morning. Scooters. Not the motorbike scooters. Scooters like the ones we had as children, two wheels, handlebars, no seat, one foot on the running board, other foot pushing off the ground to help you scoot along? Remember? Well those but electric… so they go at speed.

(Do not be fooled by how sweet they look.)

Not sure if you have gathered this from me but I’m not fearless. To be clear, I mean I am fearful. More like fear-FULL. There was no way I was going on one of those things. In a city. Maybe, maybe, possibly I would try one inside the walls of a well-padded room. With carpets. But there was no way I was going to get up on one in Lisbon. I had planned the next part of the journey by tram along the coast to Belem. I was going to take the pictures I had promised you of the people queueing for the Pastel de Nata’s from the original bakery near the Jeronimos Monastery where they were invented. It was a good plan. Everyone would have been happy.

Suffice to say, Denis wore me down, Mairead.