Lisbon’s Rua Augusta: Where Mimes Rule… Quietly

Portuguese mime.

One of several mimes we met along Lisbon’s Rua Augusta. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

Leaving Barcelona meant we would soon be leaving the Mediterranean.Our time exploring several of the Western World’s most beautiful and historic areas was drawing to an end. We sailed past the Rock of Gibraltar and watched the sunset over North Africa. Our final stop on the European Continent would be Lisbon, after which we would begin our journey by ship across the Atlantic– a lifetime bucket list item of mine.

As our ship passed by the Rock of Gibraltar, we left the Mediterranean Sea behind.

As our ship passed by the Rock of Gibraltar, we left the Mediterranean Sea behind. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

African sunset

Later we watched the sunset over the North Coast of Africa.

Lisbon is one of Europe’s most ancient cities. Celts, Phoenicians, Romans, Germanic tribes, and Moors had all called it home at one time or the other. In the 1500s the small country of Portugal was a world power with colonies in South America, Africa and the East Indies. Five years ago Peggy and I had traveled to Albufeira on the south coast of Portugal and then wandered north to the fascinating walled city of Evora before flying out of Lisbon. This time we entered Lisbon by sea, passing the UNESCO Heritage site of Belem Tower and sailing under the 25 of April Bridge, which commemorates the overthrow of Portugal’s dictator Antonio Salazar in 1974.

Belem Tower in Lisbon, Portugal

We passed by Belem Tower. Built in the 1500s, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Ponte 24 de Abril serves as the gateway to Lisbon. It is patterned after the Bay Bridge across the San Francisco Bay.

The Ponte 25 de Abril serves as the gateway to Lisbon. It is patterned after the Bay Bridge across the San Francisco Bay.

A view of the April 25 Bridge in Lisbon from below.

What the April 25 Bridge looks like from below.

Since we only had four hours in Portugal, we decided to focus on the Rua Augusta, Lisbon’s bustling pedestrian street in the heart of the city. We stopped to admire the Rua Augusta Arch, strolled along the street, checked out several mimes, had a great lunch and ended our European experience in Rossio Square where the people of Portugal have been gathering for centuries.

At first, I thought this was a statue honoring Mozart. Then I realized he was another mime.

At first, I thought this was a statue honoring Mozart. Then I realized he was another mime. The pigeons offered a special touch…

As everyone knows, pigeons have a fondness for statues. We found these in _____ Square at the end of Rua Augusta.

As everyone knows, pigeons have a fondness for statues. We found these on a statue in Rossio Square at the upper end of Rua Augusta.

Rua Augusta Arch in Lisbon, Portugal

The arch at the beginning of Rua Augusta.

Lisbon flower stall

This flower stall we found added a touch of color to a side street off of the Rua Augusta.

Lisbon balcony with Christmas decorations.

And scarves added color to these Christmas decorations. Many of the walls in Lisbon were covered with tiles as shown here and in the window reflection.

We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant on the Rua Augusta. Here Peggy offers a toast to Portugal and our trip through the Mediterranean.

We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant on the Rua Augusta. Here Peggy offers a toast to Portugal and our trip through the Mediterranean.

Rua Augusta in Lisbon

This photo shows the unique mosaic-like pattern of the Rua Augusta walkway.

This mosaic pattern on Rossio Square at the top of Rua Augusta could make you seasick.

This mosaic pattern on Rossio Square at the top of Rua Augusta could make you seasick.

Ferris wheel on Rossio Square in Lisbon.

The ferris wheel we found on Rossio Square is the most colorful I have ever seen.

The merry-go-round on Rossio Square was equally colorful.

The merry-go-round on Rossio Square was equally colorful.

Fountain in Rossio Square, Portugal

Like so many other squares we had visited in Europe, Rossio Square had a fountain featuring semi-clad statues.

Lisbon sight

A look up the hill reminded us of all the areas we would have to explore on another visit.

25 Abril Bridge in Lisbon

The sun setting behind the April 25 Bridge meant it was time to resume our journey.

April 25 Bridge in Lisbon at night

A final view of the bridge as we sailed off into the night and the Atlantic Ocean.

NEXT BLOG: We stop off at the Azores Islands.

15 comments on “Lisbon’s Rua Augusta: Where Mimes Rule… Quietly

  1. Once I could get my eyes away from those teak railings and stop evaluating the varnish, I really enjoyed the photos. I was especially glad to read that the bridge was modeled after the Golden Gate. I thought you’d inadvertently misplaced a photo or two!

    And is it just me? When I saw your photo of Belem Tower, I thought of Sagrada Familia. Just historical echoes, perhaps.

    A wonderful set of photos.

    • Lots of varnish, no doubt. (grin) I suspect it comes from being able to pay low wages for long hours. The bridge did look Golden Gatish although as I recall, they claimed the Bay Bridge (Oakland to SF). Will have to double check. (Went to Berkeley in my youth.) Interesting observation on the Belem Tower. –Curt

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  3. “Local authorities tried dereesatply to find her but they failed to come up with the slightest trace.”Of course they didn’t find anything. They didn’t even search the missing person’s home! Desperately indeed. During these nearly 10 years, was the integrity of the jammed door and the doorway more important than finding this woman? There are such things as chainsaws, axes and sledgehammers. Could a police be any more incompetent?

  4. We were here for four days only but had SUCH an amazing time! Our favoruite place was the Belem monastery, the cloisters were a beautiful sight and definitely had the wow’ factor, made even better by the fabulous weather and we enjoyed our sandwiches by the outside fountain.In Lisbon the castle was lovely and the views spectacular. We had lunch in Graca in the shade and looked out over the city and the sea from another great viewpoint.Despite the sea being quite chilly we had great fun and spent hours in it among the great waves, admiring the surfers and bodyboarders. One in particular styled a lovely helmet accompanied by flippers and a bright red wetsuit!!The flat was lovely. Thank you very much!!PS The shopping centre in Chaido where FNAC is has brilliant views from the toilet window! A lovely surprise!!Penny, Alex, Camilla and Charlotte.

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