I called on Lisbon for the first time in 1987, when en route from Norway to the Mediterranean Sea on a sailing boat which was my home back then. The incredible bureocratic procedures and red tape which faced a yacht calling on Lisbon at that time was the worst I had ever experienced. It took the better part of a day before I was through with visiting umpteen offices; police, immigration, port captain, customs and a couple more. All of them asking for a form to be filled in... all calling for the same information... in numerous copies... and the offices were spread all over the place.
In my log book from that time, I have not lavished superlatives on Lisboa... on the contrary, I have jotted down opinions like; "dirty", "crowded", "hostile", "ugly and run down city", "not worth a second visit", which is the reason why I have not called on Lisbon a second time... until this summer of 2009.
Vacationing on the north shore of Peniche, Gila and I decided to take a break from the soothing Atlantic breeze and the marvellous sunny beaches, and jumped on a bus taking us in to Lisbon. A travel guide in my rucksack told me, "Spread along its 7 hills, Lisbon leaves an unforgettable mark on those who visit it." On one of the hills, we booked in at Hotel do Chiado, where we got a small suite with a grand view up the Rua Garret (pict. no. 1.)
........More to come........