WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Monday, 12 August 2013

3 days in Chiado. Lisbon.

 The photos i took i have put in no particular order.    A few weeks ago, my good friend Manuela and myself, decided to go to Lisbon ..for a few days. She had medical exams to do. So we combined them in with a stay in an old "pombaline"  "hotel do charme"..that is the new name now for B&B..here in Lisbon. Rather like the name.  A very old house that Luis the owner has decorared with art decor flair..and old paintings.. its charming.  We were on the second floor. It was like going back 80 years.. the stairwell was narrow and the steps not deep.. We chose this particular place, as the area is really becoming more Bohemian and we felt we were in need of some night life.                                                                      
 A view of St. Jorge's castle on one of Lisbon's 7 hills.  Lisbon for me is a very exciting city.

From the old antique bookshops called"Alforabistas".. you can get books from hundreds of euros or a few euros.. books from the 17th century to books of this century.  The owners.. also do book binding.. a dying art unfortunately... One can spend hours in these shops.. There are not so many around now.  I  was glad to see this one.. and hope to go and browse around on my next visit.

 A wealth of history in these shops.

I just took shots of here and there.. This is the main street in downtown Chiado. No cars.

Hearing sweet sounds of the violin we walked a little way up the street to see this young 'Romani' boy, not more than 8 or 9 with his father..playing his heart away ,with a professionalism of a star. I cannot recall the music..but all clasical. everyone was dumbstruck.  It warmed our hearts. I put a note in the hat. and the little fellow. gave me a big smile and started playing some sort of fast hungarian or Romanian music..with zest.

           Part of the wall of the old  "Convent do Carmo".. we stayed a street away from here.
                                 It was 40º on Thursday, then to 41..by yesterday it was 45. Today its back to about 40.  Here the youngsters are resting in the 'largo do carmo'

After having our coffee at starbucks.. we were amazed to hear further up.. this amazing group of buskers.. Wow..they were fantastic.. the street was full of people listning and sitting around.   Lisbon has changed so much in the last 35 years.  Its just much more cosmopolitan.  We heard, Italians, French, English, Scandanavian's.. talking and buying in the shops.   Both Manuela and myself said.. Gosh.. where is the crisis , everyone is talking about.
the shops were full. some only closing at midnight.  Balmy warm days and nights..and the people were just loving it. The sidewalk cafe's were full. 

  This is the elevator 'justa'..it takes you from the lower level of Chiado to the upper level..where the 'Convent do Carmo is'.. The convent is still a ruin, with lots of history behind it.  Open air concerts and opera and theatre are held there.. poetic nights of reading.
Convento do Carmo.. at night in the Largo do Carmo.

                                  Another view of the elevator..
                                                         The old convent. we cannot go inside the convent..only the ruins.
                                      Above the shop with the canopy.. you will see big cemented walls ..those are the walls of the convent.. The municipality are working on a project to put a lift and walk through to the upper level here.
                                The " Quartel da Guarda do Carmo".. the National guard.. they are not allowed to move or talk to anyone.. as are most guards on duty.

                                                             A view of the Convent from the lower level.

                                   Entrance to part of the convent.. during the day.

Nightime.. in  Largo do Carmo.. we sat and had our Indian dinner assortments.. with iced wine and whiled the evening away.. listening to more buskers playing jazz.

It was so great to see the old "Kiosk" again.

Maybe some of you might be familiar with the  25th of April revolution ..over taking the dictator for more than 60 years " Antonio Salazar"..  This  square , where the Convent do Carmo is.. and where the  National guards headquarters are.. was the place the revolution took place on the 25th of april..1974..
It has become known to the outside world.. as  "The Carnation Revolution"..  not one person lost their .

Chiado also had a great fire in 1988 in the lower area.. 18 stores were lost.. it was a very tragic time.. as Chiado is a very very old bourough.. It belongs to Bairo Alto.. full of history.. Of course its since been rebuilt ..and is still very lovely and interesting and ever so charming.

I am home again amongst my olive trees, with my doggies and the most beautiful weather.
Both Manuela and myself had a good time away from the country.. a little injection of culture, doesn't harm anyone now and again... The end of another sorjourn and magical nights in Lisbon.

Happy week to all my blogger friends.
val ..


  1. Thanks Val, for the tour, I always enjoy your post since I'll never get to go there myself. How good that you got to spend time and enjoy it with your friend.

  2. Hello Sylvia.
    So pleased you enjoyed my tour. It was therepy.. and great to be in Lisbon again.
    thank you for comming over.

  3. Oh Val, it sounds wonderful. I would love to browse in a book store like that and hear the music of the little boy and the buskers. What a wonderful trip!

    1. I so very rarely go to Lisbon.. have decided to go a little more.
      It was a super few days.. Thank you Lisa..

  4. What a lovely little getaway that must have been. I enjoyed the little tour and the facts. It's so important to take some time like that - even when one lives in a paradise!

    1. Thank you pondside,
      It was a nice little get away.. and have some time in old stomping ground so to say.

  5. Wonderful pictures and I enjoyed your descriptions. I must visit there one day!

    1. Thank you Jen,
      pleased you enjoyed my pictures... I was amazed at all the shoppers.
      Lisbon is a beautiful city.

  6. glad you had a good taste of the city. i like the musicians on the streets. :)

    1. Its good to do it once in a while. the Buskers were really good

  7. What a charming tour! I don't know if we will ever see Lisbon, but it is certainly on our list! I have been intrigued with the city ever since I saw it featured somewhat in the film Russia House with Sean Connery. The few glimpses there gave me an idea of it's great beauty. Thank you for the wonderful compliment of thinking of me in the linen shop there!!!

    1. Pleased you enjoyed my photos.. i just took photos here and there..
      Yes, an excellent film.. Also a new film with Jeremy Irons.. Midnight train to Lisbon.
      Many parts of the film 'The boys from Brazil' was filmed here in our fields and marchlands.
      I would love to be able to get hold of some of he nice cottons that you get so easily.
      I love it when you show your lovely cottons and linens.. thank you Jacqueline.

  8. Thank you for that tour Val, it looks a wonderful place. I spied you in the window behind that little boy :) xx

    1. I only saw it when you mentioned me.. He played so so well..it was wonderful

  9. Glad you had a lovely stay in Lisbon with Manuela. It is a lovely city to visit, and one that I would definitely recommend anyone to visit. So many different things to do and see.
    The last time we visited was during December a few years ago, the fabulous Christmas lights were up in the centre, there was also an amazing Christmas tree, and every street corner had men roasting chestnuts - a great atmosphere.

    1. I think I was becoming a little house bound, as one would say.. thought it abot time to visit the city again. I agree Rosemary.. I would recommend Lisbon to anyone.. its charm is magic.. especially by night.
      Christmas time in Lisbon is also a wonderful time.
      I know you have visited Lisbon a few times..
      Thank you Rosemary, glad you enjoyed the Chiado area.

  10. I have never seen Lisbon thanks for the quick tour. So different from around here.

    1. Oh yes, Europe is very different from America.
      Lisbon is an ancient city.. glad you enjoyed my photos..

  11. Val,
    Now this is my kind of town, as I like the Bohemian style myself. The Convent looks very nice, and I'm sure it is a peaceful place for all the nuns. I loved the picture of the Romani boy with his father playing music for everyone. It is such a cool picture. So glad you got to spend time with your friend, Val. I am in need of a girls night out too.

    Have a happy week.


    1. I think you would enjoy Lisbon Sheri.
      The convent is old..and a very important part of portuguese history.
      The Romani , faher and son..were incredible.
      it was good to spend some time with my friend.
      one's time is always a little jollier somehow.

  12. Lisbon looks like a very charming and attractive city Val, and thank you for taking and showing all these great pictures. I love the old convent, the architectural details, and of course the little Romani boy. I can imagine the happy music he is playing. The bookshop certainly looks interesting - you will go back there! It is good to get away to somewhere different, and I'm sure you loved the whole trip. xxx

    1. It is a charming city Patricia.. I enjoy it so much when i go there.
      Its a long time, since i have been with a friend and not spending time with the family.. It was time well spent.

  13. Ah, beautiful, thanks for sharing. Lisboa is since long on my wish list to visit. I suppose I have to wait till I'm a pensionada. groetjes, Gerda

    1. I hope you get to visit one day Gerda.. its not so expensive from Holland.
      to here.
      pleased you enjoyed the trip.

  14. Dear Val , you had lovely time in Lisbon with your friend .It seems that you can do and see so many things !I love the old towns and Lisbon has many old and historical buildings !Thank you that you sharing with us your interesting trip !Have a nice week !

    1. I did enjoy my time dear Olympia.. it was nice to just be with my friend and do what we wanted. I love the old cities.. Lisbon is like Greece old history.
      I hope all is well with you..
      sending big hugs..
      val x x x x

  15. Val,
    That was wonderful reading of your time in Lisbon and seeing all your wonderful pictures. It is on my list of places to go and hopefully one day I will ge there! It must have been so lovely hearing all that music, I so glad you and your friend enjoyed a bit of culture and those magical nights in Lisbon.
    Sarah x

    1. Thank you so much Sarah, for your kind comments.
      I would second that.. Lisbon is a wonderful city.. we did have a lovely time, and we will repeat it again.
      happy week.
      val xxx

  16. Dear Val,
    it's been a very long time since my last visit to your beautiful blog my dear and it feels good to be back and catch up with your life.
    thank you for showing your photos of Lisbon. I was there with a friend too some ten years ago and very much enjoyed my visit. Lisbon is such a fascinating city.
    so happy you had a wonderful time there.

  17. Nothing like a trip to perk up one's senses. Sounds as if you had a grand time. Thanks for sharing Lisbon. I would have stayed forever in the bookstore!

  18. Oh my, Val, looks like you had a magical time. The pictures are beautiful, so full of life.
    Thank you for sharing, and thank you for stopping by for visit.
    I decided to leave my facebook open only for my children, so if you don't see me on your newsfeed, well, you'll see me here. :)
    Love ya!

  19. Oh my goodness - I would love to go there - with you. In my dreams anyway. Did you get to see your son? It is beautiful there Val.

  20. Val, this is a wonderfully interesting post and I love your atmospheric photos. Lisbon sounds like the kind of city I could very much enjoy wandering around with its pedestrian streets, beautiful buildings and a background of street music. I did enjoy this post.


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