The last stop was Lisbon. I opted for the Sandeman’s walking tour, which takes you through the streets, while narrating about the literature, architecture, destruction of city during the 1755 earthquake and its revival from the ashes.
The first day setting out of the airport in Lisbon, I was scared shitless. I just looked at the highway, foreign cars cutting through visible humidity. Feeling my bike, I also realized this was my first time riding fully loaded down with my panniers. For anyone planning a tour, don't do this, train with the panniers and you will be glad you did. Despite my worried rants of getting a taxi, Keagan controlled the desire to smack some sense into me, calmed me down, and told me to get on my damn bike.
I arrived in Lisbon just before sunset and was amazed at how beautiful the city is. It actually reminds me a lot of San Francisco (with an oddly similar bridge and even cable cars). My first stop was the Belem Tower. Built in Manueline style during the Age of Discoveries in 1520, the Tower served to defend the Tagus River bank. Once a symbol of King João II’s power, as the new centuries passed, the tower has been given different functions such as a customs control point, a telegraph station, a lighthouse and even a political prison. UNESCO classified it as a World Heritage Site in 1983.
Next to the Belem Tower was the Discoveries Monument which was built on the bank of River Tagus in 1960 to honor the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. It was designed in the shape of a caravel, on which Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, and many relevant heroes of Portuguese history are shown riding.