Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lisbon - Week2

25 de Abril Bridge
[07/09/2012] - I was saying to myself, that I won't be able to continue Llovizna as a travel blog, though I wanted to reposition it. Contrary to my own disbelief, I am here summarizing the week2.

Travel Card
Getting a travel card to travel across Lisbon was surely an important and urgent task for us to do. We took it in the "urgent" option, which is option C. We got the card the same day, after waiting for 3 hours in the queue. We just needed to take a photograph and passport with us. We had to pay 12 Euro for this. Under the normal service, it takes up to 10 days for the card to be released. We charged the card for one month (35 Euro), for the Lisbon urban area, so that we can move anywhere in Lisbon in Metro, bus, or any such public transport.

Castelo de S.Jorge
Metros are pretty frequent in Lisbon, and is the mostly recommended medium to travel - buses are not that frequent, compared to metro. Our station Arroios is located between Anjos and Alameda, on the way to Rossio from Alameda.

Bank Account
Next we had to open a bank account. IST has branches of three banks. We were encouraged to open an account at BPI, where we can open a current account free of charge.

NMCI │ Núcleo de Mobilidade e Cooperação Internacional
I submitted the filled admission form, photographs, and the passport scanned copy, by hand. Got some leaflets.

Yellow Bus
Yellow bus is the most convenient way to explore Lisbon. It is identical to the HoHo bus we saw in New Delhi in the way it operates. The only difference is, the Yellow bus provides 4 routes, where we can explore all 4 of them. There are alternate services similar to Yellow Bus too. One such service titled "Lisbon Sightseeing" offers this for 24 hours. But since we got 48 hours, we were able to travel 3 days! (Saturday evening, Sunday whole day, and Monday morning). The 4 routes are Tagus tour, Olisipo tour, Tram tour by the hills, and Belem tour. These tours start and end at Rossio. We took metro from our station Arroios to Rossio. Keep your yellow bus ticket safe forever, as if you produce the card when you want to buy them for the second time, you will get a 50% off, straightly. Isn't that just awesome? :)

Sightseeing in Lisbon
A crab in Oceanario Lisboa
The yellow bus Olisipo and Tagus tour are on a double decker bus, which has an open upper floor for us to sit and enjoy Lisbon. We visited Belem on the Tagus route. Belem is awesome, by the banks of Rio Tejo (Tagus River). It has a museum of weapons inside the riverside fort - Santa Maria de Belém (5 Euro) - (Photos). I loved the lemon tea by the river side. The "25th of April" bridge reminds San Fransisco.

Basilica de Estrela and the park in Estrela are surely not-to-miss (Photos). A tram tour from there is a good option. Trams are pretty slow, and since they share the same route as the ground transport, they often have to wait till the traffic clears up.

Lisbon Aquarium (Oceanário de Lisboa) (16 Euro) (Photos) is a must-visit, on Olisipo tour (Photos). It provides a nice view of the longest bridge of Lisbon - The Vasco da Gama Bridge (Portuguese: Ponte Vasco da Gama)

Sao Jorge Castle
Sao Jorge castle (9 Euro) (Photos) is yet another interesting place, where one can geta bird's eye view of the entire Lisbon. As it is a hilly place connected by a narrow road, the mini bus connects it - but not the regular big buses.

We have 9 students following EMDC at IST. Most of them have already arrived at Lisbon, and we are meeting each other, and breaking ice already. Seems the upcoming days will be more fun.

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