My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Exploring Lisbon on a Seabourn cruise excursion

2010/11/09by Donna Hull

Updated 11.01.2013

Visiting Lisbon Portugal on a cruise excursion

The colorful buildings of Lisbon

Have you ever visited a destination that immediately spoke to you? It happened to me this summer on a road trip to Montana. I experienced that same feeling recently when I stepped out onto the balcony of our Seabourn Sojourn suite to view the pastel colored buildings of Lisbon perched on the hillsides in front of me. “Come explore our nooks and crannies,” they seemed to say.

Alan and I chose, Lisbon by Private Trolley Car, a Seabourn Sojourn cruise excursion as our means of exploring Lisbon. The combination bus, walking and trolley car tour gave us an overview flavored with the smells and sounds of this Portuguese city.

Are you planning a cruise? Use our Luxury Cruise Travel Planning Guide to begin your research.

Tempting baked goods in Lisbon, Portugal

Bakery window with tempting treats

After a brief bus ride through old town, our tour guide led us off of the bus and onto the mosaic paved streets of Lisbon’s central shopping district. Pastry shops lined the way tempting us with extravagant baked goods. A walk down a side street proved to be a shoe shopper’s paradise. Christmas lights dangled overhead promising a colorful glow once the switch is turned on later in November.

Later, we rode the bus along a wide boulevard of upscale homes and foreign embassies before stopping at Jeronimos Monastery. This is one of the only buildings to survive the 1755 earthquake that devastated Lisbon, along with a tsunami and earthquake-related fires. Accompanied by groups of school children, we stepped inside the 16th century church and cloister to view intricate stonework of ropes and other navigational symbols that celebrate the grand masters of the sea.

Trolley car ride on Lisbon cruise excursion

Riding on a trolley car through the streets of Lisbon

From the monastery, we walked to the boarding area for our private trolley tour of Lisbon. As the car clanked along the rail, two Fado singers serenaded the group to the competing clang, clang, clang of the trolley car bell. After a hostess served glasses of tawny port, we, too, were singing Fado while the car climbed up and down the narrow lanes of Lisbon.

As the bus returned to the pier, Alan and I talked of returning for a Lisbon land-based adventure. When we do, you’ll likely find us at a sidewalk cafe sampling a Portuguese pastry after a day of exploring Lisbon.

Have you visited Lisbon? Post a comment to share your experience. The city is definitely calling our name for another adventure.

To see more of our Lisbon photos, visit the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook. While you’re there, we hope you’ll click the Like button.



A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

zablon mukuba November 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm

lisbon is a beautiful place, i loved every moment i spent there.

Reply

Mary Harrison Goudie November 10, 2010 at 10:50 am

Some things that you may not know about Portugal :
gave sweet oranges to the west, think about that while you drink you morning orange juice!
Tea to the English;
and curry to India;
at the time of the discoveries some middle east counties thought Portugal was a Jewish nation!
Learn all about this and more when I take you on one of my private guides tours _
I am Mary your Brit (Scottish too) guide in Lisbon.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
November 10, 2010 at 11:26 am

Hi Mary,
Thanks for the Lisbon tips.

Reply

Anonymous
Twitter:
November 12, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I must have been there about the same time last year in late November as the Christmas lights had just been put up. I also loved Lisbon just as you did, we visited the monastery, ate our Pasteis de Belem and took the street trolley – we even had our evening of Fado in a local restaurant

Reply

Anonymous
Twitter:
November 13, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Love the colorful buildings and the old trolley cars! I’ve never been yet – but I remember reading all about Heather’s experiences there and thought it looked like a gem!

Reply

Ron Whitaker January 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Ahhh…the memories!

I lived in Portugal for a year and half, and these images bring back so many wonderful memories!

I especially liked the image of the “pasteleria,” or bakery.

If you’re ever in Portugal again, you must take a train all the way up north to the beautiful, old city of Porto (Oporto in Portuguese). You also must visit Coimbra. I still remember walking along the sidewalks of Coimbra and marveling at the aqueducts still towering over the cobble-stoned streets. Coimbra also has the oldest university in Europe.

Portugal is a wonderful country to visit!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
February 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Thanks for the tips on visiting Portugal. I’m sure we’ll put them to use one day.

Reply

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