After lunch, we headed back to our hotel to complete the check-in process (as we arrived in town a bit too early and our room wasn’t quite ready yet) and then headed out to start exploring! The hotel clerk circled several neighborhoods in the map for us, so we figured with only part of a day left, we’d start in the closest one to the hotel: the Bairro Alto, or High Neighborhood.
It’s called the High Neighborhood because it is at the top of one of Lisbon’s tallest hills. It’s very steep, but the views are gorgeous! You can see all the way down to the river in places.
As we were walking around, we stumbled upon this little street fair! It really wasn’t much more than people selling food under some crepe paper decorations, but we were definitely intrigued. No, it’s not a holiday in Portugal – the people who live here just felt like celebrating their neighborhood today and said why not? We thought that was pretty awesome!
The park they were holding the fair in was also a lookout point over the rest of Lisbon. This is just a small section of the view to the south.
We tried to visit this church, but they were in the process of closing, so maybe we’ll come back on Monday.
Walking down the hill to the west in search of some ice cream (as it’s pretty hot here today!) we stumbled across this building and decided it must be important if there are multiple guards standing in front of the doors. Turns out it’s the Portuguese parliament! The building has a crazy history – it used to be a monastery in the 15th century, was used to try to treat plague victims, was destroyed in a massive earthquake that hit Lisbon in 1755, burned partly to the ground in the 1800s, and was finally finished to the way it looks today in the 1940s.
Finally, we headed over to this little garden to get some dinner and catch the Portugal-Croatia soccer tournament game! It is a very tiny garden – just three little green spaces, a statue, and a few cafés around it – but it was very pretty, especially with the church steeple peeking above the trees. And Portugal won the game, although in the most dramatic fashion possible. They were behind all game but pulled out a goal at the very end of the second overtime to move on to the next round of the tournament! Everyone was cold and tired by that point, but it was worth it to watch the game at the café with the cheering crowd!