Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lisbon - Old and New

Day Two in Lisboa

Our first day concentrated on the historic core of Lisbon. Our second day mixed old and new. We began by a trip to the Parque das Nocaes area of the city (the area created as a result of Lisbon's 1998 Worlds Fair) to see The Oceanario (aquarium.)

It was a joy to see the whole expo zone thriving. All of its buildings were pre-sold before the fair and a commitment was made to convert the site into a thrving live / work and entertainment zone. The entrance pavilion is now the bustling Vasco De Gama mall. The Future Building is Casino Lisboa and the Oriente Train Station by architect Santiago Calatrava is busy and bright. 

But the star is the Oceanario aquarium. And it was wonderful. The Building itself is built in its own lagoon. You access it via a bridge from a separate entrance pavilion with ticketing, food, gift shops and interpretive. The Aquarium has four distinct zones and is divided among the oceans.

The Oceanario

Home to Amazing Fish

My Favorite (The Otters)

Luminous Jelly's

Sea Dragons

Penguins With Miss M

The neat thing about the facility is how much research they do. They have a full hospital and have had success in their breeding programs.

The area is just alive with business people in the office towers, shoppers, travelers and families just out for a day.

Calatrava's Train Station

Distinctive Office and Living Towers

A Complete Mixed Use Neighborhood

All Linked by A Ribbon Park 
With a Series of "Volcano" Fountains

We still had some energy so we endeavored to experience two more "must do's" in Lisbon. 

First was ride the Santa Justa Lift. The lift dates back to 1902 and is a Victorian steel confection. It serves a practical purpose in providing a lift for residents up the hill (who can exit at the upper level) and also to tourists who can climb tight rusting lighthouse stairs to an observation deck providing amazing 360° views of Lisbon.

The Santa Justa Lift

The Climb to the Observation Deck

The Payoff 
Amazing Views in Every Direction

We wrapped up the night with a end to end ride on the Famous Tram 28. Wow, what a wild ride! These little dudes move. They also slide through spaces that leave (literally inches between cars, walls, doors to businesses, and trams going the other direction.

The Little Trams that Can 
and Do!

Tight Space Between Trams and Businesses

A long day, but what a day!

Roadboy's Travels © 2012

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