Across the Water

It’s Sunday, so I guess I’d better mention Jesus. In Almeda – just across the water from Lisbon – it’s pretty hard to to ignore him since his image is 92 feet high on a 270 foot plinth. The Cristo Rei seems less popular than the city’s other attractions – there’s certainly a much smaller crowd here, which is strange – since it’s easy enough to get to the monument via a quick boat ride to Cacilhas and a frequent bus up the hill. And once you’re there, 6 Euro gets you a ride up to the top of the plinth, and some of the best views around.

Cacilhas itself is a pretty small port, but on a warm Sunday afternoon it’s alive with fish restaurants, market stalls and all manner of touristy tat to grab your attention. But for me, the restored 19th Century frigate the Don Fernando II e Gloria steals the show. It’s now a museum but looks just as impressive without having to pay the entry fee – even if it is next to an ugly car park.

It’s my final afternoon in Lisbon, and outside the Metropole Hotel a huge noise erupts of loud engines and horns. Almost a thousands bikers are taking part in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride – a global even which raises money for prostate cancer charities. The smell of petrol fills the air and people stop in their tracks..

Lisbon has impressed – and then some. Set against a backdrop of brilliantly beautiful and historic buildings is the kind of soul you rarely see or feel in a capital city, or any city for that matter. I’ve a feeling I may be back.

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